IFRC Declaration on the post-2015 humanitarian agenda

The General Assembly of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) commits to engage in the implementation of a universal development agenda to replace the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015.

Over the past 15 years, the MDGs have contributed to improvements in the lives of vulnerable people across the globe. Their simple, concise, and measurable nature galvanized action from governments, the UN system, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, civil society, and the private sector. These collective efforts have resulted in progress in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing the burden of communicable diseases and improving access to safe water.

Yet progress has touched some more than others, with many of the most vulnerable people and communities left behind. Persistent and rising inequality, climate change, and increasing exposure to disasters, violence and conflict have significantly hampered MDG progress and undermined the resilience of vulnerable people and their communities. Unfortunately, goals on education, gender equality, maternal and child health, sanitation and environmental sustainability are woefully off track.

Strengthening resilience should be a central component of the new development framework. Tackling inequality and working inclusively with the most vulnerable should be at the heart of the new agenda. Governments must lead an ambitious approach in the next generation of goals. It is crucial that we all work towards eradicating poverty and hunger within a generation, ensure universal access to safe water, sanitation and quality education, empower women and girls, and explicitly endorse the principle of universal health coverage.


Governments also must lead decisively in taking action to protect the environment for future generations; addressing the negative impacts of climate change; and strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people, their communities and livelihoods to disasters and crises, food insecurity  and health related risks. Without a renewed sense of urgency on these issues, the IFRC fears that disasters and crises will hinder progress towards sustainable development for years to come.

We recognise the unique value and contribution of volunteers – including more than 15 million Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers - who are critical to enabling access to health services, promoting social inclusion and a culture of non-violence, and developing local, sustainable solutions and responses in the face of disasters and crises.

The voices of volunteers and those in communities in which they work should inform the design and implementation of the post-2015 agenda, thereby ensuring that goals, targets and indicators relate directly to those whose lives they will transform.. Young humanitarians should actively engage to influence the future they want and to actively work towards that future.  Women and young people must be given central attention for their irreplaceable role as sources of information and as enablers and drivers in sustainable development and humanitarian action.

The ethical use of technology and innovation in advancing sustainable development must also be considered carefully in the post-2015 agenda. IFRC, through the 2013 World Disasters Report, notes that partnerships between humanitarian organizations, governments and private sector companies will be critical post-2015 to harnessing the full potential of technology to improve the resilience of affected communities.

Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies will use their auxiliary status to bring the voices of the vulnerable people they serve to the attention of their national governments, encouraging the governments to strengthen the resilience of their communities.

In continuing to realize our own mission to save lives and change minds, we will contribute significantly to the post-2015 agenda’s eventual implementation. We are exploring three overarching commitments to support sustainable development:


Firstly, in order to reduce the devastating impact of disasters on sustainable development, we commit to enabling every community in high risk areas to have a capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Secondly, in order to contribute to the realization of universal health care, we commit to having a volunteer in every community in which we work who is responsible for facilitating access to basic health services.

And thirdly, in order to ensure development can be sustained domestically, we commit to continuing efforts to strengthen National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies as trusted partners and effective auxiliaries to their governments in humanitarian and development work.  

Delegates of the General Assembly of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


Red Cross and Red Crescent members of the International Youth Conference

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