Media role vital

THE media plays an important role in informing the public on work carried out to ensure humanitarian standards in the region are met, says International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) head of delegation in the Pacific, Fred Grimm.

Mr Grimm said at a media workshop held in Suva on Wednesday that ICRC was part of the world’s largest humanitarian movement that delivered protection and assistance to those in need regardless of race, religion or politics.

“In the Pacific, ICRC has its main office in Suva, with a presence in Papua New Guinea and Canberra,” Mr Grimm said.

“The ICRC continues to promote and build an enhanced understanding of International humanitarian law and humanitarian standards.

“In Fiji, for example, we have a very good training interaction with the military and police forces.”

Mr Grimm said the organisation conducted yearly trainings with Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel who were about to be deployed and covered issues such as interrogation and detention procedures.

“In a world of fast-paced development, the media is seen as a critical partner through its ability to report on and analyse issues ranging across a whole wide spectrum, from politics to humanitarian issues.

“Most sadly, fundamental rights of people are also being disregarded and international humanitarian law is violated and disrespected.

“When international humanitarian law is violated and disrespected, this can lead to conflict and when this happens, it becomes difficult for a person caught up in such circumstances to live a dignified life.”

Mr Grimm said the long-term effects of conflicts could affect multiple generations.

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