13. Principles in action: How do neutrality and independence contribute to humanitarian effectiveness?


Learning outcome

Upon completion of this activity, students should gain a basic understanding of the role that the basic principles of Neutrality and Independence play in attaining effectiveness in the delivery of humanitarian aid.


Watch the video clip "Principles in action: How do neutrality and independence contribute to humanitarian effectiveness?" and answer the following questions.


An official side event of the 2015 ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment gathered senior Red Cross Red Crescent representatives, the Ambassador of Mexico to the UN, the Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross and a major scholar of humanitarianism. They discussed the principles of Neutrality and Independence and how these two principles serve to contribute to humanitarian effectiveness.

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Question 11 pts

Mr Jorge Lomónaco, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, speaks of the 1,500 different actors operating in the relief effort pertaining to typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as an example of one of the core principles of humanitarian action acting as a barrier to efficiency. Which basic principles does he refer to?

Question 21 pts

Senior Researcher at Tufts University, Antonio Donini, refers to two oft-heard criticisms of the principle of Neutrality. Firstly, that Neutrality may sometimes hamper political solutions and secondly, that abiding by the principle of Neutrality may sometimes lead to a failure to address root causes. Which of the following statements most accurately embodies Mr Donini’s rebuttal to these criticisms?

Question 31 pts

Antonio Donini quotes Jean Simon Pictet, former Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as having stated that, “one cannot be, at the same time, a champion of justice and a champion of charity; one must choose.” Donini makes use of this quote to call attention to which of the following observations?

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