For the past 12 years, Pierre Krähenbühl has led the ICRC's humanitarian response to a range of crises and events across the globe – from the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the present-day bloodshed in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. During those dozen years, the nature of warfare and the notion of the battleground have changed a great deal, thanks to the growing number of armed groups waging war against States and each other, and the use of new technologies, such as drones.
Pierre's mandate as Director of ICRC Operations ends in January, after which he will take up a new position as the head of UNRWA. He recently spent a week in Washington DC, where he met senior government and military officials to discuss a number of issues, including US detention and the conduct of hostilities.
During his visit, Intercross invited Pierre to sit down and reflect on his time at the ICRC. In particular, we asked how the events of "9/11" had shaped the evolution of armed conflict and humanitarian action, as well as the ICRC's relationship with the US. He also talks about what makes the ICRC so unique, and shares some of his observations about what it takes to make a difference in the world.