Statutory meetings

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23/06/2022 | Press release

Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders commit to accelerate efforts to tackle rising humanitarian challenges

Geneva, 23 June 2022 - The Council of delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement concluded today in Geneva with commitments from Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders and youth representatives from around the world, to work together and scale-up efforts to take urgent action on a range of critical humanitarian issues. Representatives of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) passed a series of resolutions to address a range of humanitarian challenges, including; the growing existential threats posed by the climate crisis; the escalating migration crisis; the devastating impacts of war in cities and the need to continue efforts to work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. "Urban warfare has a devastating humanitarian impact, including the appallingly high number of civilian deaths, the physical and mental suffering, the destruction of homes and critical civilian infrastructure, the disruption to essential services and the widespread displacement of people. We have seen that sad reality playing out in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. The Red Cross and Red Crescent must mobilise all its influence and resources to meet the challenges that lie ahead,’ said ICRC President Peter Maurer. ‘To be clear: the consequences of urban conflicts are not inevitable. They are the result of the behaviour of the parties fighting in these environments and we call for international humanitarian law to be upheld as an urgent priority’. IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “How we work to tackle and mitigate against the impacts of climate change will define our work, not just for the next few years, but for decades to come. “All over the world, our volunteers and staff are working with people in their communities to help them adapt to the climate crisis and, frankly, they are demonstrating greater readiness, eagerness, and leadership than the majority of our global political leaders. We need action from them, not more words. And now. “The same goes for the international migrant crisis. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement speaks of leaving no person behind, of solidarity, and humanity. But, all over the world, we see world leaders failing to take the plight of migrants seriously enough and too easily prepared to neglect the human rights of those fleeing conflict, hunger, persecution, and, of course, those parts of the world where climate change has already done untold damage to their communities.” Francesco Rocca, IFRC President, was re-elected to serve a second four-year term in office at the IFRC’s General Assembly on 19 June. For more information on resolutions adopted at the Council of delegates is available here For other information and interview requests, contact: IFRC: Benoit Carpentier, Tel: +41 792 132 413 Email: [email protected] Paul Scott -+44 (0)7834 525650 email: [email protected] ICRC ICRC: Ewan Watson - m. +41 (0)79 244 6470 email: [email protected] ICRC: Crystal Wells - m. +41 (0)79 642 8056 email: [email protected] For further information about the statutory meetings please visit

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12/12/2019 | Press release

Red Cross Red Crescent Conference: Over 160 States gather to address world’s most pressing humanitarian issues

Geneva, 12 December 2019-- Representatives from 168 States joined 187 Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, at the International Conference in Geneva which closed today. The International Conference, held every four years since 1867, brings together States party to the Geneva Conventions and global Red Cross Red Crescent representatives.The International Conference is a unique opportunity for decision-makers to discuss the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues and adopt resolutions that guide future humanitarian action.  Previous decisions have contributed to the strengthening of international humanitarian law (IHL) and legal frameworks for disasters whilst ensuring safe environments for volunteering. This year, key issues on the agenda included trust, mental health, climate change, pandemic preparedness, data protection and migration.“The International Conference is a unique place for the Red Cross and Red Crescent to discuss critical humanitarian challenges with governments,” said Peter Maurer, ICRC President. “The fact that we had 168 States actively participating shows that governments have a strategic interest in responding to humanitarian crises and engaging with the Movement.”In an era of increasing scrutiny of the humanitarian sector, in-depth discussions on trust, integrity, accountability were central to the 3-day Conference.  “Being trusted by the people we serve is critical to being able to restore family links, to ensuring lifesaving access, to working with and alongside communities,” said Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).A summary of all the Resolutions approved today can be found here but highlights included: Bringing IHL home: A road map for better implementation of international humanitarian law. The Movement and States reaffirmed their commitment to IHL and its full application and implementation, especially at the national level. Restoring Family Links (RFL) while respecting privacy: Protecting personal data is about protecting people. The growing insecurity linked to the digital age and the pervasive threat of unauthorized access to personal data require that the Movement devote ourselves even more diligently to the protection of RFL activities. Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies: States and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement agree to include mental health and psychosocial support to be included in the first wave of humanitarian emergencies. Climate-smart disaster laws and policies that leave no one behind: People living in vulnerable or fragile contexts feel the impact of climate change most severely. The Movement is working to reinforce the capacity of affected communities to absorb the combined impacts of conflict, violence and climate shocks. Time to act: Tackling epidemics and pandemics together. In light of threat that epidemics and pandemics pose to global health, the economy and stability, particularly in the world’s most vulnerable areas, the Red Cross Red Crescent cooperate with the public authorities in the prevention of disease, the promotion of health and the mitigation of human suffering. Women and leadership in the humanitarian action of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. A resolution affirming the importance of women being represented at the decision-making level.“I’m pleased that States together with the Movement have committed to tackle the new challenges emerging on the world’s frontlines,” said Maurer. “They reaffirmed the importance of the laws of war, at a time when technical innovation is raising questions about how much control humans have over weapons. And they agreed to protect the personal data of people searching for their loved ones. We also saw an encouraging groundswell of support to boost mental health responses.”“We are pleased to have reached agreement on the different resolutions,“ said Rocca. “We are now ready to ensure the follow up of all the decisions and we will continue to advocate strongly for the localization agenda and the support our National Societies which are local actors par excellence: Strong National Societies, strong local actors, mean strong local communities.”

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29/11/2019 | Press release

Media Advisory: World’s largest humanitarian network gathers in Geneva to shape its response to global challenges

Geneva, 29 November 2019 – The leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will gather next week at the Centre International de Conferences (CICG) in Geneva, Switzerland, for a series of meetings that will shape the future of the world’s largest humanitarian movement.The Statutory Meetings of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will bring together the leadership of all 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).The Statutory Meetings run from 3-12 December and comprise four separate meetings: The IFRC Youth Forum will take place from 3 to 4 December to ensure the youth voice echoes throughout the Statutory meetings. This gathering is not open to the press. The IFRC General Assembly – the highest decision-making body of the 190-member Federation – will take place from 5 to 7 December. This gathering is not open to the press. The Council of Delegates – the body that also involves ICRC and that meets to discuss matters that concern the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a whole – will take place on 8 December. This gathering is not open to the press. The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent - the only gathering of States convened by non-governmental actors – will take place from 9 to 12 December and is open to the press.You can find the full programme here.What’s on the agenda? The climate crisis is at the top of global humanitarian challengesDuring the International Conference there will be a focus on the humanitarian impacts of climate change, drawing attention to key challenges and opportunities, and identifying what can be done now to scale up joint action.Trust in humanitarian actionTrust is the foundation of humanitarian action. Access, support and respect for the Movement’s mission depends on the trust of the people and communities it serves, of the responsible authorities and of the general public. The leaders of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement will discuss trust from the following perspectives: community engagement and accountability; integrity and compliance and principled humanitarian action.Scaling up mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian crisesWhen traumas are invisible, they can be easily overlooked or deprioritized. Yet war and disaster have a devastating impact on the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of millions.At the Conference, the Movement will call on all States to prioritize mental health and psychosocial support in situations of war and disasters, as a critical component of first wave humanitarian assistance, and as an integral part of domestic and international emergency response systems.PandemicsThere is a high probability that the world will experience a severe outbreak that could destabilize entire societies. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will discuss ways to confront pandemics, such as early detection, preparedness, flexible funding mechanisms etc.Humanitarian action in the digital eraHow do we keep our promise to the people we serve when it comes to managing highly sensitive digital data? How do we adopt and maintain a principled approach in the digital era and ensure we “do no digital harm”? The impact of digital transformation, both in terms of the potential increase in the scale and scope of humanitarian action and related risks will be open for discussion.International humanitarian law: facing up to the challenges of modern warfareAre the laws of war as we know them up to the challenges posed by new technologies of war? Should we let a machine autonomously act to end a life? Key questions on the table include how to address an increase in urban warfare and its toll on civilians, how to influence behaviour to enhance respect for IHL and how IHL can protect civilians from the different risks they face depending on their gender, age and identity.Key media opportunities Q&A session with IFRC President about current humanitarian priorities and emergenciesFrancesco Rocca, President of IFRC, will participate in a Q&A session about current humanitarian priorities and emergencies, including Syria, Venezuela, migration and the humanitarian consequences of climate change. The Q&A session will take place on 2 December at 12:30 in Press Room 1, Palais des Nations, Geneva.Speed dating event with thematic & regional expertsThe ICRC and IFRC are hosting a speed dating event at ICRC’s Humanitarium, in Geneva, on 5 December, from 09:00 to 10:30. The event will bring together journalists and Red Cross Red Crescent experts on the main issues covered at the Statutory Meetings.International Volunteers Day: Photo and interview opportunities with young volunteers and leaders from across the globeFor the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, young people are our most valuable resource and asset, as they represent more than a half of our 13,7 million active volunteers globally and are a driving force of our humanitarian assistance locally. On 4 December, 167 youth delegates from 140 National Societies will gather in Geneva for a historic Youth Commission election, where candidates will be elected by their peers, young leaders from National Societies.Strategy 2030IFRC’s ambitious roadmap for its local and global humanitarian action – Strategy 2030 – will place climate change and environmental crises at the top of a list of five global challenges that must be addressed in the coming decade. The Strategy will be announced on 5 December by IFRC press release.Escape room: travel back in timeJournalists are invited to participate in an immersive experience at the CICG from 5 to 7 December. When they enter, they are in 2030 and the situation is bleak. They are given the chance to travel back in time to solve today’s global challenges and avoid a pessimistic scenario.‘100 ideas, 100 challenges’ youth competitionThe six winners of the global ‘100 years, 100 challenges’ youth competition will pitch their ideas to National Societies on 6 December from 11:15 to 12:00. From a social inclusion programme for transgender people in Pakistan to an experimental artists’ collective in Colombia to raise awareness about violence and inequality, nothing is impossible for these young people from around the globe.COP 25 and IC 33: Two communities, two conferences, one ambitionOn 10 December from 13:00 to 14:00 two high-level panel discussions – one in Geneva and one in Madrid – will host a live dialogue about climate adaptationHumanitarian TrailFrom 4 to 12 December, the general public and schools have the unique opportunity to  explore the Humanitarian Trail - an interactive visit through Geneva’s historical sites and special events that highlight the Red Cross Red Crescent journey from its origins to present and future challenges.Immersive experience on Place des NationsFrom 5 to 12 December, the exhibition Humanitarian Crises and Digital Dilemmas will offer a unique interactive experience, giving visitors the chance to see how digital technologies, from social networks to biometrics and connectivity, are transforming humanitarian crisis from the perspective of the people affected by them.For media accreditation to the conference, please contact: Benoît Carpentier, +41 79 213 24 13, [email protected] Vaessen, +41 79 405 77 50, [email protected]

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17/05/2019 | Press release

Major humanitarian conference to explore regional crises, migration

Buenos Aires/Panama/Geneva, 17 May 2018 – Red Cross leaders from across the Americas and around the world are gathering in Buenos Aires from 21-23 May for the 21st Inter-American Conference of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).The conference will involve leaders and representatives from the 35 Red Cross societies of the Americas, as well as global IFRC figures. Participants will explore a range of issues, including: the rising needs of vulnerable migrants across the region, the increasing impacts of climate change, the Red Cross response to humanitarian crises, the centenary of the founding of IFRC – the world’s largest humanitarian network.Media opportunitiesRed Cross spokespeople are available to speak on all topics related to the conference, as well as on issues of humanitarian concern. Spokespeople include: Francesco Rocca, President of IFRC (Languages: Spanish/English/Italian Diego Tipping: President of the Argentine Red Cross (Languages: Spanish). Miguel Villaroel: IFRC Vice-president for the Americas (Languages: English/Spanish).Other Red Cross experts and leaders are also available on request.

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04/05/2018 | Press release

European humanitarian summit closes with commitments on migration, increasing diversity among volunteers

Almaty, Kazakhstan, 4 May 2018 – Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders have reaffirmed their support for all migrants regardless of status and have flagged improved trans-national cooperation to ensure more consistent care and protection for people on the move.This announcement came at the end of the 10th European Regional Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which was held for the first time in Almaty, Kazakhstan.“Migrants are vulnerable whatever the reason they embark on their journey towards a better life, and it is our duty to support them,” said Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “What we have seen here in Almaty is a renewed commitment from all 53 European National Societies to stand with migrants, to stand against intolerance, and to stand for improved cooperation and increased impact.”The conference adopted the “Almaty Commitments” which set out Red Cross and Red Crescent priorities for the coming four years. In addition to migration, the declaration carries clear pledges on improving engagement with volunteers and young people, and on strengthening cooperation and coordination.Dr Kerem Kinik, IFRC Vice President for Europe, said: “Our commitments will see us expand our support to local communities, ensuring we work in an affective and inclusive way - that is key to us making sure we are effective and relevant.“There is suffering here, in Europe, and much of it is unmet. We need to expand our volunteer base, drawing from more diverse groups, including from marginalized communities. And we need to invest more in improving their skills, so they can reach people in need,” said Dr Kinik.

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06/11/2017 | Press release

Italy’s Francesco Rocca elected President of world’s largest humanitarian network

Antalya, 6 November 2017 – Italian lawyer and humanitarian, Francesco Rocca, was today elected the new President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Mr Rocca was elected by his peers from 178 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that were present at the IFRC General Assembly in Antalya, Turkey. He paid tribute to the courage and dedication of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world, and vowed to focus on ensuring they have greater support. “We owe it to them to change and to strengthen our capacity,” he said. “One of the first things I will focus on is addressing any integrity issues within our network. We owe it to our volunteers who risk their lives every day. We owe it to the communities who look to us for support, when no one else can help. And we owe it to the people around the world who look to the Red Cross and Red Crescent as signs of hope.” Mr Rocca’s election comes at a critical juncture for the IFRC and the wider humanitarian community. Aid organizations are responding to a range of complex and global challenges, and are struggling to respond to rising needs while balancing increasingly constrained budgets. The new President will play an important role in ensuring that Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies can continue to support the most vulnerable and isolated. Mr Rocca joined the Italian Red Cross in 2008, taking over as National President in 2013. He has built the Italian Red Cross into the country’s pre-eminent humanitarian organization, with Red Cross volunteers and staff playing leading roles in response to earthquakes and the ongoing arrival of vulnerable migrants. He has been a strong advocate on behalf of vulnerable migrants, calling consistently on political leaders to put the safety and dignity of people at the centre of their migration policies. A lawyer by training, Rocca started his professional career fighting organized crime. He then moved into health administration. In 2013, he was elected Vice President for Europe of IFRC. Mr Rocca will take over from Tadateru Konoé who is completing his second term. The General Assembly also elected four Vice-Presidents: Mr Abdoul Azize Diallo (Senegal), Mr Miguel Angel Villarroel Sierraalta (Venezuela), Mr Chen Zhu (China) and Dr Kerem Kinik (Turkey).

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