The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.
In support of its mandate, the ICRC has an outstanding dialogue with arms carriers (armed forces, police and security forces, non-state armed groups and private military/security companies) in over 100 hundred countries. FAS field delegates support this dialogue, including through experienced advice, networking, expertise on the conduct of hostilities and use of force, and operational analysis. At the Headquarters level in Geneva, the FAS Unit has prime responsibility for defining concepts, guidelines, policies, procedures and tools within the framework of this dialogue. The FAS Unit also has a key role in ensuring strategic linkage and regional coherence of FAS operational effort in each region, as well as providing strategic level analysis on regional and pan regional issues.