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ICRC Lecture at Haigazian University
Haigazian University Appreciates the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to Lebanon

In spite of the gloom in the country over the recent national crisis, a number of people could overcome the prevailing mood and attend the cultural hour public lecture on Thursday, November 30, 2006, at 7:00p.m. in the Auditorium of Haigazian University.

The lecturer was Mr. Juan Koderque, in his first public appearance after being appointed to head the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to Lebanon, which will be commemorating its 40 years of humanitarian service in Lebanon in 2007. The lecture was about the legacy of Mr. Henry Dunant, the Swiss businessman, who was the key figure in establishing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In her opening words, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Arda Ekmekji, talked about Mr. Dunant, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1901. Then she introduced the Spanish speaker, Mr. Juan Koderque, who had served in some of the "hot" zones (Apkhazia, Georgia, Kongo, the Sudan, Gaza and the Ivory Coast) of the world before being appointed to his present post in Lebanon.

Mr. Koderque's speech started with the history of the international movement of humanitarian aid which included the ICRC, the Geneva Conventions and the Federation of the Red Cross & the Red Crescent. He said that their main task was to help the victims of wars and natural disasters. But the ICRC, along with the national Red Cross Societies, also visits war and political prisoners & detainees, helps the latter to be in touch with their families, and is available at the devastation zones to assist the people in infrastructural needs (water, medical help and shelter) that may arise because of hostilities and natural disasters. The lecturer also noted that in times of peace the ICRC works to promote the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and tries to secure its recognition by all the countries of the world.

It was noteworthy that Mr. Koderque highly praised the Lebanese National Red Cross Society, who, along with the Lebanese Red Crescent "were on the front lines to help the victims during the last war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006," he said.

After the speech the audience present watched a film on the humanitarian services of the ICRC and addressed any questions they had.

The evening ended with Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, the President of Haigazian University, presenting an appreciation token to the ICRC Delegation in Lebanon for their outstanding and exceptional humanitarian services to the Lebanese people.

Public Relations Office
Haigazian University

Dec. 1, 2006
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