Higgins says Ireland can take pride in its peacekeeping record

President marks World Humanitarian Day by urging Irish people to support policies to help bring an end to poverty and violence

President Michael D Higgins has urged Irish people to call for policies that will help bring an end to poverty and violence. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

President Michael D Higgins has urged Irish people to call for policies that will help bring an end to poverty and violence. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

President Michael D Higgins has marked World Humanitarian Day by urging Irish people to call for policies that will help bring an end to poverty and violence.

The World Humanitarian Day honours aid workers who were killed or harmed in the course of their work.

In a statement, the President said: “As we honour those who devote their lives to aiding others, we also call to mind the suffering of those millions of people whose lives and communities are being destroyed by violent conflict.

“At the present time, a record number of 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and climate change. Civilian populations are increasingly being targeted in what are flagrant and deliberate breaches of international humanitarian law.”

Take pride

Mr Higgins said Ireland could take pride in its strong track record in giving support to peacekeepers, and victims of conflict and natural disasters.

“On World Humanitarian Day let us commit to building on this experience and encourage each other to take actions – and to call for policies – that help bring an end to poverty and violence,” he said.

In 2017, 139 aid workers were killed, more than 100 wounded and 76 kidnapped while doing their jobs, according to the annual Aid Worker Security Report compiled by independent research group Humanitarian Outcomes.

The death toll was the second highest on record and 23 per cent up on the previous year.