IFRC and Government of Turkmenistan sign agreement, commit to strengthened cooperation

Publicado: 14 mayo 2015 15:30 CET

The IFRC and the Government of Turkmenistan have signed an agreement concerning the legal status of the IFRC in the country that will strengthen cooperation and increase support to the Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan (RCST) in carrying out its mandate.

The agreement was signed by IFRC Secretary-General, Elhadj As Sy, and Turkmenistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Raşit Meredow on 6 May.

The same day Mr. Sy was  invited to deliver a speech at the ´Peace and Neutrality` conference that marked the celebration of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the country`s adoption of a state of permanent neutrality.

In his speech to the conference, attended by high-level Turkmen government representatives as well as well as leaders from 15 regional National Societies, Mr Sy spoke of the IFRC’s own Neutrality, and of this year’s 50th anniversary of the adoption of the of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Fundamental Principles.

“Neutrality allows us to build relationships with those we work with so that authorities, communities, beneficiaries alike can take confidence that our aim is purely humanitarian and comes with no strings attached,” he said.

“It is our neutrality that allows Red Crescent volunteers in places like Afghanistan and Syria to continue to operate in cities and towns that are inaccessible to any other organization. It is the reason why Red Cross volunteers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been able to earn the trust of people threatened by Ebola.”

The principle of Neutrality in action

Mr Sy also met with Turkmenistan’s President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, and took part in a meeting where the regional Red Cross and Red Crescent societies shared their experiences of applying the Movement’s Fundamental Principles and discussed topics related to Governance issues.

One of the conclusion reached at the meeting was that maintaining a strong and trusted relationship with both communities and governments in peacetime is a key measure that enables a National Society and its volunteers to continue be present and carry out its activities at the community level before, during and after a crisis.