Practitioner Profiles: On World Humanitarian Day, Reflections on the Bombing of the UN in Baghdad with Claude Bruderlein

Each year on August 19th, the international community observes World Humanitarian Day, marking the tragic occasion of the bombing of the UN headquarters in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003 in which 22 staff members and visitors were killed. As we commemorate the lives lost in the pursuit of humanitarian action around the globe, and the continued risks to aid workers in the field, what have we learned since 2003?

In this episode, ATHA speaks with Claude Bruderlein, Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a former member of the Independent Panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the Baghdad bombing. The Panel’s report found failure and dysfunction in the protection of staff, and prompted a major overhaul of the UN’s security management system. They discuss why Baghdad became such a touchstone for the humanitarian system, and how the lessons drawn from it have influenced policy and practice regarding the security and protection of humanitarian personnel 12 years later.

August, 2015