Medical doctor, specialized in tropical medicine and epidemiology. Involved in humanitarian action since 1977, he has been on numerous missions, mainly in contexts of armed conflicts and IDP situations. President of Médecins sans Frontières from 1982 to1994, he also teaches at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) and is a regular contributor to Alternatives Economiques. He has published several books and articles, including "Guerre humanitaires ? Mensonges et Intox" (Textuel, 2018), "La Médecine Humanitaire" (PUF, 2010), "Penser dans l'urgence" (Editions du Seuil, 2006) and "Utopies Sanitaires" (Editions Le Pommier, 2000).
Rony Brauman reminds us that humanitarian organisations cannot evaluate their actions solely by the yardstick of the means they implement, but that they have a responsibility to consider the real consequences of their actions.
Not having seen the genocidal drift of Hutu Power in 1994 coming, the international community grants Paul Kagame's RPF the impunity of victims. Yet such power also lends itself to criminal acts. The authors express their indignance that NGOs and international organisations - invoking the duty of remembrance - join in the endless evocation of the past that masks the political phenomena at the root of the current violence.
Behind the question, "Is humanitarianism a commitment?", Rony Brauman warns against the use of humanitarianism in the public arena. Investing the political realm with the moral expectations of a better world, humanitarianism might unintentionally be helping to make "survival of the fittest" more palatable.
For the publication of the Dictionnaire d'Ethique et de philosophie morale, the former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, Rony Brauman, offers a definition of humanitarian aid.