The Committee of Five Were All Masons
The ICRC President
Peter Maurer © ICRC
Peter Maurer was born in Thun, Switzerland, in 1956. He studied history and international law in Bern, where he also obtained a doctorate. In 1987 he joined the Swiss diplomatic service and held various positions in Bern and Pretoria before being transferred to New York in 1996 as Deputy Permanent Observer for the Swiss Mission to the United Nations. In 2000 he was appointed Ambassador and Head of the Human Security Department in the Political Directorate of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
In 2004 he became ambassador and permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. In this position, he worked on integrating Switzerland, which has only been a member of the United Nations since 2002, into the multinational network. In June 2009 the UN General Assembly elected Peter Maurer as chairman of the Fifth Committee, which is responsible for administrative and budgetary issues. He was also elected Chairman of the Burundi Committee of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission. In January 2010, Peter Maurer was appointed State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Bern and took over the management of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with its five directorates and around 150 diplomatic missions around the world. On July 1, 2012, Peter Maurer took over the office of ICRC President as successor to Jakob Kellenberger.
Under his leadership, the ICRC carries out humanitarian operations in over 80 countries. His presidency priorities include strengthening humanitarian diplomacy, helping states and other actors comply with international humanitarian law, and improving humanitarian solutions through innovation and new partnerships.
Since Peter Maurer has been ICRC President, he has led the organization through a historic budget increase from CHF 1.1 billion in 2011 to CHF 1.8 billion in 2016.
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