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Conflicts today are multi-actor conflicts, said Peter Maurer, former president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was in conversation with Rajmund Kiss, head of the Center for Diplomacy of the talent institute, at the latest MCC Budapest Lectures.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has been active worldwide for nearly 160 years and is today one of the world's largest and most influential aid organizations. The Geneva-based organization is a leader in humanitarian missions in conflict and crisis zones. Armed conflicts, wars and natural disasters occur frequently and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection is increasing at a high rate, making the work of humanitarian diplomacy indispensable. Peter Maurer has served 10 years as President of the ICRC. The expert gave a presentation on the world of humanitarian diplomacy, and also shared his personal experiences and explained how the nature of conflicts has changed compared to the past. In his opinion, conflicts today have become multi-actor conflicts, and it is not uncommon to see up to ten parties involved in an atrocity. Furthermore, urban warfare is becoming more and more widespread, i.e. fights are taking place in cities rather than away from populated areas. Over the past ten years, the battlefield has expanded into both cyberspace and space, and disinformation and hate speech have become new elements of warfare. "These changes have presented us with new challenges that we were not used to before," said Peter Maurer. The former president also pointed out that problems cannot be solved merely by financial support. In his opinion, supporting the local economy is crucial to enable people to find work and education. Peter Mauer also gave several examples related to key issues such as Ukraine and Syria.