L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
October 2016

On 25 October 2016, the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation will be launched on the occasion of the first Annual Meeting of Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators. Over 170 professionals, experts and scholars are expected at La Pastorale, to share their experience and perspectives on frontline negotiations. This meeting will contribute orienting the activities of the new Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation for the years to come.

As a joint endeavor between the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), Médecins-sans-frontières (MSF Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the centre aims to the development of a community of practice around humanitarian negotiations. It will focus on the capture, analysis and the sharing of these practices among practitioners on the frontlines of armed conflicts.

It will provide research support to professionals from all humanitarian agencies and organizations on the challenges and dilemmas of frontline negotiations as well as technical support to field practitioners in the planning and evaluation of negotiation processes. It will serve as a hub for peer-to-peer reviews and experiential development exercises.

This picture was taken during the Rwandan genocide on 20 August 1994. About 1’500 Rwandan refugees at the time crossed the Ruzizi Bridge, to get to Zaire where they invade the city of Bukavu. Here the Rwanda-Zaire border is temporarily closed. As revealed in the picture, frontline negotiations take place in tense and insecure environments, the results of which are often life-saving operations for the population concerned.