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About

Welcome and thank you for visiting. Intercross is about the plight of children, women and men affected by armed conflict and violence. Intercross is about humanitarian action. It is about the work of the ICRC and international humanitarian law. And it is about interacting with you, our readers, while building a place for news and commentary on armed conflict that is credible, interesting, and relevant. 

A few words about me: I am the spokeswoman for the ICRC in North America, based at our delegation in Washington D.C.. We’re not too far from the White House, the Department of State, and the Brookings Institution. We're just blocks away from the Washington Post, a few metro stops from the Pentagon, and a few hours' flight from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I am a US citizen, originally from Minnesota, but I've spent the past two decades living and working abroad. I recently returned to the US to take up my new post here in the nation's capital. Having spent more than half my life outside the US, I'd like to think that I have a unique perspective on the world and the challenges we face.

I've spent the past six years with the ICRC at our headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where I served as a spokesperson for Europe and North America, as well as a communications adviser for strategic projects, and the editor-in-chief of our internal website. Prior to that, I worked for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as a media officer. Before becoming a humanitarian, I was a journalist for Swiss Radio International/swissinfo.org in Bern and Geneva. I also spent eight years with CBS News' bureaus in Paris and London. Over the years, I've covered humanitarian issues and crises in places across the globe, including Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Mali, Pakistan, and the southern Philippines. In 2010, I curated the first-ever Red Cross Red Crescent TEDx event called TEDxRC².

A few words about the ICRC: In a nutshell, our mandate is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence, provide them with assistance, and prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. We also coordinate the relief activities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in situations of conflict. We've been doing this for more than 150 years. Our work here in North America is to visit people held at Guantanamo Bay in order to assess their treatment and conditions of detention, and help them maintain contact with their families, as well as provide confidential recommendations to US authorities, which we discuss in Washington, Guantanamo, and Miami. We also interact with the US and Canadian governments and the Organization of American States on a range of global humanitarian issues, including those related to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. In addition, we cooperate with the American and Canadian Red Cross Societies. ICRC Washington has around 30 employees, including expatriate and American staff.

The ICRC in North America wants to influence legal and policy debates that we, as an organization, care about. We've joined the digital conversation to make our voice - and the voices of those we strive to help - better heard. My hope is to offer a window into the human reality of armed conflict - from the toll it takes on civilians to hot-button topics, such as the use of drones.
 
From time-to-time, we'll showcase the outstanding work of photojournalists and reporters covering conflict.  I'd like to hear from you and will try as best I can to answer your questions and direct you to available ICRC resources.
 
The ICRC works primarily through confidential dialogue with State and non-State actors, who have a stake in any given conflict. We favor working behind the scenes and do not engage in polemic. However, we communicate publicly on many contexts and issues that affect humanitarians, academics, policy makers, and members of the military in North America care about.
 
So welcome to Intercross. Let us know what you think!
 
Anna Nelson
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