Memorial Events
Day of Remembrance 2024
Speaking at the ceremony in the ‘Jardin du Souvenir’ at our HQ in Geneva, our Director General Robert Mardini saluted the strength and dedication to principled humanitarian action of those who have died, saying: “Every life protected, every person-in-need assisted, is a tribute to the colleagues we honour today.”

Our Vice President, Gilles Carbonnier, spoke of this being a moment in which we can share our feelings and pain, not least following the difficulties for the organization last year. Before looking at some of the key events that marked last year, Gilles said: “I wish to pay tribute to those of you who have suffered physically and mentally in the course of your humanitarian work, and in particular to our beloved colleagues whom we have lost over the past 12 months.”

Looking to the longer-term nature of remembrance, Robert noted that this year marks the tenth anniversary of security incidents in which we lost Siradjou Mamadou in the Central African Republic, Michael Greub in Libya and Laurent Du Pasquier in Ukraine.

This ongoing act of remembrance is supported by the Memorial Project, began in 2019, to create both a new physical space at our Geneva HQ, and an online resource at which to read more about and share memories of colleagues.

Day of Remembrance 2023
On 21 March we came together as an organization to honour the memory of all our colleagues who have died in the course of their work. We marked the occasion at headquarters with a musical event in the Garden of Remembrance. A global event was broadcasted live to all staff worldwide. A focus was made on commemorating colleagues killed in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003.


Day of Remembrance 2022
On 22 March 2022, we came together on this new date for our day of Remembrance event, to share the loss of every colleague equally and recognize their contribution to the ICRC and to those we assist and protect. The 2022 Remembrance Day was a moment for us to honour their memories by reflecting on who they were and what they stood for.

No one can replace those we have lost. They live on in our memories.
Claire Hoang Sperandio
Director of Human Resources ad interim.

Marking the day, an online Remembrance Day event was held for all colleagues worldwide. It featured addresses by Deputy Director-General Katrin Wiegmann and Director of Human Resources ad interim Claire Hoang Sperandio.

Colleagues present at headquarters were able to join the live event, with speeches and music in the Jardin du Souvenir, where they paid tribute to our lost colleagues. Our colleagues from around the world, marked Remembrance Day either by connecting to the virtual ceremony or by organizing their own events.

“Every day, each of you contributes to our mission to serve people affected by armed conflict and violence. Alleviating their suffering and protecting their dignity lies at the heart of our work.

All our colleagues whom we remember today fulfilled that mission. They walked among us once, and they walk beside us now.  We carry them with us. Always,” these words, from Deputy Director-General Katrin Wiegmann, stay with us as we continue to honor the memories of those, we’ve lost this year and in years past.

This was the first time; we came together as an institution in March to pay tribute to colleagues we’ve lost. This was to detach our Remembrance Day to any one event and remember our colleagues with a “renewed sense of equity and unity”.

Day of Remembrance 2021
As we reached the end of another tumultuous year, we once again came together on 17 December to remember and pay tribute to all the colleagues we have lost, that year and in years past, and whose memory lives on. It is a moment for all of us to come together as an organization and recognize their contribution to the ICRC and to those we assist and protect. A time for us to reflect on who they were and what they stood for.

To mark the day, a special online Remembrance Day event was held for all colleagues worldwide. It featured addresses by Vice-President Gilles Carbonnier, honorary Assembly member François Bugnion, Director-General Robert Mardini, and Director of Human Resources Gherardo Pontrandolfi.

The 2021 Remembrance Day carries a special meaning for our organization, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the tragedies of Mugina (Burundi) and Novye Atagi (Russia), in which three and six of our colleagues were killed respectively. This year’s ceremony therefore had a special focus on honouring the memory of these colleagues. As per usual practice, we also honoured and paid tribute to the colleagues we have lost throughout the year, notably following tragic security incidents in Yemen and Cameroon.

Day of Remembrance 2018
Colleagues gathered at ICRC sites around the world on Remembrance Day - 17 December - to pay tribute to all those we have lost throughout the years.

At headquarters, staff came together on the Esplanade to honour the memory of our 34 colleagues who died in 2018 as a result of a security incident, accident, illness or tragic event. White ribbons were available for colleagues to hang on trees in front of the Carlton; many bore the names of colleagues who died while on duty.

“It is important to mark this day by together remembering all our colleagues who left us this year,” said Director-General Yves Daccord.

“It is important to take a moment to think about who they were as friends, colleagues, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers – and to also think about their families and their teams.”

Yves paid tribute to our four colleagues who were killed this year in the line of duty: Abdulhafid Yusuf Ibrahim; Hanna Lahoud; Saifura Hussaini Ahmad Khorsa and Hauwa Mohammed Liman.

Abdulhafid, who was 32 and married with two young children, was killed by a car bomb shortly after he left the ICRC office in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Wednesday 28 March. A communication and legal liaison officer, he had only joined the delegation five months earlier.

Hanna, who was 37, was shot and killed in Taiz, Yemen, on Saturday 21 April. Passionate about the Red Cross mission, Hanna devoted almost two decades to the ICRC and the Lebanese Red Cross where he started out as a first aid volunteer.

Saifura and Hauwa died separately but their stories will forever be intertwined. The young midwives were abducted in Rann, north-east Nigeria, in March this year. Six months later, Saifura, who was 25 and a mother to two young children, was brutally murdered by her captors. Hauwa, who was 24, suffered the same horrific fate a month later.

A minute’s silence was then held for all those we lost this year.

Yves took a moment to thank everyone who had worked tirelessly to support colleagues and the families of those who died. He also thanked all those who participated in the recent consultation process to improve the way we pay tribute to our dead.

“We received several proposals and have now taken a number of decisions,” he said. “We recognize that we need to have a memorial here at headquarters, bearing the names of those we have lost, so that we may honour their memory either as a collective or individually.

“We will also have an online memorial to allow families, friends and colleagues to pay tribute. We will also continue to have memorials at delegation level, and we will make sure that Remembrance Day remains an important date in our calendar.”

Thirty other colleagues who lost their lives to accidents, disease or other tragic events were also remembered. Sarah Epprecht and Antoine Grand, both deputy directors of operations, read out their names.

Remembrance Day 2017
Jan Khalid, Maqsoud Ghulam, Rasoul Ghulam, Omar Ghulam Murtaza, Sahebzada Najibullah, Agha Sayed Shah, Emmanuel Lukudu Kennedy Laki, Lorena Enebral Perez and Youssouf Atteipe. During 2017 Remembrance Day, we paid tribute to our nine colleagues killed in the line of duty in 2017, as well as all those we have lost in previous years. We gathered and reflected after what has been one of the darkest years in this organization’s history.

At headquarters, colleagues came together on the morning of Monday 18 December. Vice-President Christine Beerli led a minute’s silence in the Jardin du Souvenir at 10:00.
Throughout the morning – from 09:00 to 12:00 – colleagues were able to go to the garden, light a candle and spend a few minutes of quiet reflection.
“Every Remembrance Day is an important moment for the ICRC as a whole. It is a time for all of us to reconnect with those we have lost and to once again show our solidarity as an institution, as colleagues, as friends,” said Gherardo Pontrandolfi, director of human resources.
Olivier Nyssens, the ICRC’s stress and resilience advisor, encouraged colleagues to share their reflections of what the day means to them, either with their teams or with their peers.

ICRC Remembrance day 2016
On 17 December 1996, six ICRC delegates were murdered in the Chechen town of Novye Atagi. This date is now commemorated every year as our Remembrance Day – when our thoughts turn to all our colleagues killed in the line of duty or as a result of an accident, illness or other tragic event.

On 17 December 1996, six ICRC delegates were murdered in the Chechen town of Novye Atagi. This date is now commemorated every year as our Remembrance Day – wTwenty years on from that unprecedented attack, this year’s Remembrance Day is dedicated to the memory of all ICRC colleagues killed in action since 1996.
To mark this anniversary, a photo exhibition entitled Ray of Hope: A Story of Commitment is on display in the Place des Nations in Geneva. It focuses on the places where our colleagues have lost their lives in the past 20 years and offers visitors the chance to appreciate the humanitarian commitment of these exceptional men and women whose lives were cut tragically short.
A Remembrance Day march will also start from the Place des Nations. All staff in Geneva are invited to take part. Former and retired staff members will also join us, as will staff from the Secretariat of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The march will follow the same route as the solidarity march that took place in 1996 after the events in Novye Atagi. It will arrive at the headquarters esplanade, where Peter will give a short speech. A moment of silence will be observed before Karim Wasfi, the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, performs a composition of his choice on the cello.
The commemorations will conclude tomorrow evening at headquarters with an awards ceremony, presided over by Guillaume Barazzone, mayor of Geneva. The Genève Reconnaissante medal was founded in 1932. In awarding it to the ICRC, the City of Geneva is expressing its gratitude and paying tribute to the exemplary humanitarian commitment of every ICRC staff member. The medal will be accepted by three staff members on behalf of us all: Aina Shakhidova, Dibeh Fakhr and Antoine Balabeau. They will be accompanied by the president Peter Maurer.
hen our thoughts turn to all our colleagues killed in the line of duty or as a result of an accident, illness or other tragic event.