The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today re-elected Juan Manuel Suárez del Toro to a second four-year term as president of the organization. The 53-year-old industrial engineer from Spain was first elected to the post in November 2001.
With 129 votes out of the 170 votes cast, Mr. Suárez del Toro, was elected in the first round by the absolute majority required. There were two other candidates in the running, Janet Davidson, member of the Board of Governors and Honorary Vice-President of the Canadian Red Cross, and Dr. Muctarr Jalloh, President of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society
Mr. Suárez del Toro thanked the Assembly for its renewed expression of confidence.
“I would like to thank all of you who have been working with me over the past four years, and not least the National Societies and their volunteers, those of you who really do the work of the Movement. I would like to renew my commitment to keep working for the Movement and for the people we dedicate our work and actions to, the most vulnerable,” he told delegates.
In a pre-election speech to the delegates, Mr. Suárez del Toro had noted : “During the past four years, I have tried to put the Federation at the centre of humanitarian projects. We have today a Federation which is more participative, flexible and viable to face our future challenges.”
Beginning as a youth volunteer more than 30 years ago, he rose through the ranks of the Spanish Red Cross, occupying several posts, from Red Cross Youth Director and President of the Canary Island branch, to Vice-President and then President of the Spanish Red Cross, a position that he has held since 1994.
The President was elected by representatives of member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, currently attending the Federation’s 15th session of the General Assembly, the organization’s highest decision-making body. It meets every two years to debate and adopt policies which are the framework for National Society activities as they carry out their humanitarian mission to help the most vulnerable.
Mr. Suárez del Toro is a university professor in economics and business management. He is married and has two daughters. His new term will commence as from the end of the current General Assembly, on 14 November.