ICRC Mission


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening International Humanitarian Law and universal humanitarian principles.

Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

For further information on the ICRC and its activities, please visit ICRC website at: www.icrc.org


ICRC Partnership with the AU and its Peace and Security Department


The ICRC works with the different organs of the African Union (AU) and with all its member states to draw attention to the needs of those affected by armed conflicts and other situations of violence, to promote greater recognition and wider implementation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) throughout Africa and to raise awareness of ICRC's role and activities on the continent.


Pursuant to the cooperation agreement signed in 1992 between the ICRC and the Organization of the African Unity (OAU), predecessor of the AU, the two organisations have been working in close collaboration, sharing experiences and views on humanitarian consequences arising from conflict situations on the African Continent. The ICRC enjoys ever since an observer status.


The ICRC Delegation to the AU, based in Addis Abeba, collaborates more closely with the AU Commission and its different departments through:

  • Regularly updating the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) on humanitarian concerns on the continent and participating, on invitation, to open sessions of the PSC on IHL related thematic, such as women and children in armed conflicts or the protection of  civilians,
  • Informing representatives of the AU Commission and ambassadors of AU member States about ICRC activities and provide them with publications and updates on IHL,
  • Providing technical and legal advice on integrating IHL into AU policies and treaties, eg. the AU convention on IDP’s and the framework policy on post-conflict reconstruction and development,
  • Co-hosting with the AU, events, conferences and meetings regarding IHL issues,
  • Advocating stricter controls on the availability of small arms, the prohibition of cluster munitions and the clearance of landmines and cluster munitions.


The ICRC has also further strengthened its partnership with the AUC Peace and Security Department in particular, through the secondment, since 2009, of one of its experts in International Humanitarian Law (IHL), to support the different divisions and related services of the Department with:

  • The mainstreaming of relevant elements of IHL and humanitarian principles into the Department’s policies, analysis and specific activities,
  • The integration of IHL into the doctrine, procedures and training of the African Standby Forces as well as into AU current Peace Support Operations, and
  • The dissemination and training of IHL and humanitarian principles amongst its staff.


For further information on ICRC partnership with the African Union, please consult the following link: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/annual-report/current/african-union-icrc-annual-report.htm

Contact Address:

ICRC Delegation to the African Union and

International Organizations in Africa.

P.O.Box: 3048, Addis Ababa.

Tel (+251) 11 647 83 20/21/22

Fax: (+251) 11 647 83 23

E-mail: ado_addisua@icrc.org