Moscow/Geneva - The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr Tadateru Konoé has concluded a two-day official visit to Moscow where he met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Health Dr. Veronika Skvortsova.
During his visit to the Russian capital, President Konoé reiterated the IFRC's support for The Russian Red Cross Society (RRCS) and expressed his admiration and appreciation for the work of the RRCS in the areas of disaster response, TB control and HIV prevention. He also stressed the important auxiliary role of the organization to the public authorities, citing the recent example of its response to the devastating flash floods in the southern region of Krasnodar which left 144 people dead in early July 2012.
"The rapid response to the Krasnodar flooding emergency reinforced the Russian Red Cross Society’s role as the country's leading disaster response agency," said President Konoé. "It is crucial that in its role as an auxiliary to the government, the RRCS has the support and trust of both the public authorities and the people they are mandated to help. As a prominent member of the IFRC, it is very important that the society is given the support it needs to carry out its humanitarian and development work in an impartial, independent and neutral manner, in line with the Fundamental Principles of the global Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. "
In his visit with Minister Sergey Lavov and Minister Dr. Veronika Skvortsova, President Konoé called upon the adoption of a Red Cross Law to better recognize and define the auxiliary status of the National Society while protecting the red cross emblem. “As auxiliaries to the public authorities, the Red Cross will be able to play a greater humanitarian role on the whole territory, but also internationally, as a reliable partner to the government,” President Konoé said. “And as an independent, neutral and impartial actor, the Red Cross gains greater access to - and trust from - the people in need.”
“We welcome the direction established by the IFRC,” Minister Dr. Veronika Skvortsova said. “We will be actively involved to ensure the National Society realizes its full potential to the benefit of our diverse population.”
Minister Lavrov also expresses his support to the strenghtening of Red Cross in Russia: “We share the same interest in having a Red Cross Law that ackowledges, and is informed by, the principles of humanity, independence and neutrality of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.”
The RRCS is the country’s oldest humanitarian network and is this week celebrating its 145 year anniversary. The IFRC has been working in the country since 1992 and continues to provide assistance to the National Society as required as part of its wider commitment to develop cooperation between the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Red Cross Red Crescent societies in the region
About the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian and development network with nearly 100 million members, volunteers and supporters around the world. Together, we act before, during and after disasters and health crises to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. We do so without discrimination as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. By supporting humanitarian standards, working as partners in development, responding to disasters, and supporting healthier and safer communities, we help reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience and foster a culture of peace. The IFRC, our 187 National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org.
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