Sydney - “Looking to the future, I believe that the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has a key role to play in representing the National Societies externally, in ensuring the harmony of our Movement and in promoting our global reputation.”
These were the words of newly-elected IFRC president Mr Tadateru Konoé who was returned for a second term yesterday. Mr Konoé won the election by nine votes, polling 97 votes compared to 88 for Dr Mario E. Villarroel Lander.
Mr Konoé listed his priorities as: building stronger National Societies; bringing the IFRC Secretariat closer to National Societies and increasing its effectiveness; strengthening governance; protecting the sovereignty of all 189 National Societies; strengthening cooperation across the Movement and engaging in dynamic humanitarian diplomacy and fundraising.
Mr Konoé said he would need to work harder to meet the expectations of those who expected him to do more.
“I am humbled by the trust and faith put in me to lead this organization in tackling the pressing humanitarian challenges facing us today to meet the ultimate aim of relieving suffering and delivering assistance to those who need it most.”
Mr Konoé has been president of the Japanese Red Cross since 2005, and vice-president for 14 years before that. He was elected as president of the IFRC for his first term at the 17th General Assembly in Nairobi in 2009.
Four new vice-presidents were also elected: Mr Abbas Gullet, Kenya, for the Africa region; Mr Osvaldo M. Ferrero, Argentina, for the Americas; Dr Baige Zhao, China, for Asia Pacific; and Mr Francesco Rocca, Italy, for Europe.
Twenty National Societies were elected as members of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today, with five National Societies represented from each IFRC zone. For Africa, the members are Botswana, Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, and Tunisia. For the Americas, the members are Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. For Asia Pacific, the members are Fiji, Iran, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Syria. For Europe, the members are Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Spain and Turkey.