Red Cross Red Crescent leaders and States from around the world meet to discuss common priorities for tackling the most pressing humanitarian issues

Published: 4 December 2015

Geneva, 4 December 2015 – The humanitarian environment has changed dramatically in recent years, posing unprecedented challenges for humanitarian actors in delivering assistance to all those in need, according to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as its series of high-level meetings begins in Geneva.

The Statutory Meetings of the Red Cross and Red Crescent bring together nearly 2,000 participants, including leaders from more than 190 States Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from almost every country in the world, as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to discuss today’s most pressing humanitarian issues.

“These meetings are an opportunity for the components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to come together with States to pursue our common objective of Humanity,” said Mr Tadateru Konoé, IFRC President.

Today the need for humanitarian assistance is tremendous. Climate change has triggered natural disasters and created unpredictable and severe weather, threatening communities around the world. Conflicts, political instability, economic crises, and widening inequalities have exposed millions – including Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers and staff – to intolerable risks, and are forcing more people to flee their homes than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

“We have an exceptional opportunity to join forces; to unite behind our shared humanity, behind greater respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and behind the millions of people who are suffering due to armed conflict, disasters, and violence,” said Mr Peter Maurer, ICRC President.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent is uniquely placed to respond to these challenges, with its unsurpassed reach in communities and community-level capacity which are backed by international resources and solidarity.

During these meetings, the participants will tackle issues related to the most pressing needs and consequences to today’s crises such as migration, respect of IHL, resilience during disasters, the psychological effects of armed violence, and the protection of humanitarian and health workers and infrastructure.

“We have a joint responsibility and a collective accountability to reach all those in need. On their own, Governments might not have the answers to all the challenges their citizens face. Even the best resourced can struggle to meet the increasing needs that today’s unpredictability brings. We are stronger when we work together,” said Mr Konoé.

Speaking about conflicts, Mr. Maurer said: “We have entered an era in which armed conflicts are greater in complexity and numbers of actors, longer in duration, wider in their regional impact, broader in tactics and weapons used and, above all, more atrocious in the human suffering they create. It is an era of protracted armed conflicts, which add up to a world at war.”

The Statutory Meetings of the Red Cross and Red Crescent take place from 4-10 December 2015. Full details of the meetings, as well as media resources are available at:

Interested audiences are invited to follow the discussions during the meetings by searching for the hashtag #powerofhumanity on social media platforms.


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