He reflects on how in Iraq, even if the war is officially over, peace remains to be built and violence remains the norm. Mr Dorbes argues that the consequences are exacerbated by the lingering effects of the past conflicts and by longstanding ethnic and sectarian tensions.
He tells the severe humanitarian consequences caused by the continued conflict. Millions of people have fled their homes to escape from violence and some have gone to Syria. Mr Dorbes speaks of the plight of Internally Displaced Persons, who face unsafe conditions in temporary camps and host communities. Tensions in their places of origin prevent many of them from returning.
Mr Dorbes reflects on the humanitarian consequences of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which continue to be felt by thousands of Iranian families, who remain without information regarding relatives who went missing in relation to the past conflict. People in the provinces bordering Iraq continue to be at risk from mines and explosive remnants of war, despite the clearance operations being carried out locally. Because of the irregularity of their status, many migrants have limited access to basic services.
Pierre Dorbes hails from France holds a Masters in International Law and International Relations from Paris XI University. Before joining the ICRC in 1995, Mr Dorbes worked as Project Coordinator for an NGO in Bosnia Herzegovina, after time spent as a Lecturer of International Relations at the French Military Academy of St Cyr Coëtquidan. He served as a Communications Delegate for the ICRC in Azerbaijan until 1997 and subsequently worked as a Protection Coordinator for the ICRC in a variety of contexts, including Nepal, Rwanda and Myanmar. From 2002 – 2003 he served as the Deputy Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. From 2006 to 2008, Mr Dorbes was Head of the ICRC Sub-Delegation in Bucaramanga, North-eastern Colombia and subsequently served as the Deputy Head of the ICRC Delegation in Israel & the Occupied Territories. He worked as the Delegate in charge of humanitarian coordination issues at the ICRC Delegation to the United Nations in New York until April 2013. From June 2013 until March 2016, Mr Dorbes was assigned at ICRC Headquarters in Geneva as Deputy Regional Director for the Near and Middle East. Since May 2016, he heads the ICRC Regional Delegation for East Asia, based in Beijing.
Members, guests and others are most welcome to attend this talk, which is HK$150 for Members and HK$200 for guests and others including a glass of red or white wine. This event is free of charge for Student Members.
The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to Jacada Travel for its generous assistance with this lecture.