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Resolutions of the Council of Delegates - 1997

31-03-1998 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 322

adopted at its session of 25-27 November 1997, Seville

Seville, 25-27 November 1997

Resolution 1

 THE STANDING COMMISSION  

 OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 having taken note of the report submitted by the Standing Commission on its work since December 1995,

    

 noting that the establishment, under Article 18, para. 7, of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, of ad hoc bodies can enable the Standing Commission to fulfil its statutory mandate more effectively,

    

 taking into account the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission on the functioning of the Movement’s statutory bodies,

1.  urges the Standing Commission to continue to take steps to promote harmony in the work of the Movement;

2.  endorses the Standing Commission’s draft model rules of procedure for an arbitration board, drawn up pursuant to Resolution 3, para. 4(c), of the 1995 Council of Delegates;

3.  encourages the Standing Commission to persevere in its implementation of those parts of Resolution 3 of the 1995 Council of Delegates that are relevant to it;

4.  recommends that the Standing Commission associate, as and when it deems necessary, personalities of National Societies, participating in a consultative capacity, in the preparation and organization of the Council of Delegates and the International Conference;

5.  further recommends that the Standing Commission organize structured consultations with National Societies on all Standing Commission issues, taking advantage of regional or other meetings organized within the Movement;

6.  decides that the financial implications of paragraphs 4 and 5 shall be the joint responsibility of the International Federation, the ICRC and the National Societies, on the basis of 25% from the ICRC, 25% from the International Federation and 50% through voluntary contributions of National Societies.

Resolution 2

 THE EMBLEM  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 bearing in mind Articles 38 and 44 of the First Geneva Convention of 1949 on the protective and indicative uses of the emblems,

    

 emphasizing the long-stand ing and incontestable value of the red cross and the red crescent as protective and indicative emblems for the Movement and that both emblems are widely known around the world and deeply meaningful to many millions of people,

    

 noting that the emblems are above all treaty-based distinctive signs designed to protect the victims and that it is primarily the responsibility of the States party to the Geneva Conventions to take the necessary measures to strengthen their protective force,

    

 recognizing the need to improve the protection of the victims and of those who come to their aid in situations where the emblems are not respected or where there is a danger that they will not be respected,

1.  takes note of the interim report submitted by the Standing Commission and of the working paper attached to it;

2.  recalls operative paragraph 8 of Resolution 3 on the Future of the Movement (Geneva, 1995), and encourages the ICRC, the International Federation, National Societies and States to take steps at the legislative, preventive and repressive levels to ensure greater respect for the emblems and to inform the Council of the measures adopted;

3.  requests that the “Criteria for evaluating possible solutions” 1 , as defined on page 13 of the working paper attached to Report CD 97/4.1/1, serve as a basis for the discussions aimed at finding an overall solution, mindful of the emblem s, to the specific problems that arise;

    

 recommends that the Standing Commission continue its consultations with the National Societies and government experts from States party to the Geneva Conventions and report to the next Council of Delegates, in the hope that all the components of the Movement can adopt a common position that will lead to a dialogue with States.

Resolution 3

 THE 27th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE  

 RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT  

(Geneva, 1-6 November 1999)

The Council of Delegates,

    

  having taken note of the Standing Commission’s report on the 27th International Conference and its attachment, entitled “Voting Procedures for Elected Members of the Standing Commission”,

1.  considers that the 27th International Conference is of particular importance as it will take place just prior to the next millennium and in the year of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Conventions and will give the Movement the opportunity to reassert its key role in humanitarian work throughout the world;

2.  approves the Commission’s concept for the Conference as set out in the report and endorses the proposals summarized in paragraphs 1 to 13 of Section 7;

3.  encourages all components of the Movement to be active in promoting the Conference and to commit adequate resources, human and financial, to this task, and to urge States to do likewise;

4.  accepts the Commission’s preliminary selection of topics for the Conference, noting that these topics may be subject to change in the light of events and developments between now and the Conference;

5.  requests the organizers of the Conference to implement the streamlined Voting Procedures for Elected Members of the Standing Commission at the 27th International Conference.

Resolution 4

 NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF  

 INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 recalling Resolution 1 of the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995), entitled “International humanitarian law: From law to action. Report on the follow-up to the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims”,

    

 stressing the importance of implementation of international humanitarian law at the national level,

    

 noting that all States must take national measures to implement international humanitarian law, including dissemination to the armed forces and to the general public, the adoption of legislation to punish war crimes and protect the use of the red cross/red crescent emblems, and other relevant measures,

1.  welcomes the valuable contribution of the ICRC’s Advisory Service in assisting States with the adoption of national measures to implement international humanitarian law, in promoting the exchange of information on such measures, and in encouraging the ratification of international humanitarian law treaties;

2.  reaffirms the special role of National Societies in cooperating with their governments in the implementation and dissemination of international humanitarian law;

3.  welcomes the work of many National Societies in drawing the attention of their respective governments to the need for legislation and other measures to be adopted nationally in order to implement international humanitarian law, in assisting their governments in adopting such measures, and in promoting the ratificatio n of international humanitarian law treaties;

4.  encourages all National Societies to promote the adoption of implementation measures at the national level and to cooperate regionally and internationally with other National Societies, with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with the ICRC in this field;

5.  notes the valuable role played by existing national committees for the implementation of international humanitarian law in advising and assisting their governments on implementation and dissemination of international humanitarian law;

6.  encourages all National Societies to make every effort to promote the establishment of national committees and, where such committees already exist, to play an appropriate role in their work;

7.  takes note of the proposal to establish a voluntary review procedure on national implementation of international humanitarian law;

8.  invites National Societies to examine the proposal with their respective governments.

Resolution 5

 INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 deeply alarmed by the large-scale and continuing violations of international humanitarian law, both in international and in non-international armed conflicts,

    

 recalling the obligation of States to repress violations of international humanitarian law and of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,

    

 recalling also resolution 2 of the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which urges States to increase international efforts to permanently establish an international criminal court,

    

 considering the efforts already undertaken to that e nd, and, in particular, the planning of an international diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998, to set up such an international criminal court,

    

 considering  also the efforts of the ICRC to further the establishment of an effective and impartial international criminal court,

1.  invites National Societies to support all these efforts and to promote the creation of such a court, while at the same time encouraging States to comply with their existing obligation under international humanitarian law to repress violations of this law and of the Convention relating to the crime of genocide;

2.  requests the ICRC, in consultation with the International Federation, to follow developments closely, to actively keep National Societies informed, and to report to the 1999 meeting of the Council of Delegates on progress made in establishing an international criminal court.

Resolution 6

 FUTURE OF THE MOVEMENT  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 recalling that its Resolution 3 of 1995 mandated the Advisory Commission to “review (...) the statutory provisions (including the Rules of Procedure) concerning the role, competencies and functioning of statutory bodies of the Movement”, and to “work on a clear definition of the organization of the international activities of the Movement’s components (...) and (...) draft an agreement between all component s of the Movement, replacing the 1989 Agreement between the ICRC and the International Federation, for endorsement by the next Council of Delegates, which would bind all components of the Movement”,

    

 welcoming the report of the Advisory Commission (CD 97/5.1/1),

    

 expressing satisfaction that the Advisory Commission reached the conclusions contained in its report by consensus,

    

 recognizing that this report envisages a new era of cooperative action between all components of the Movement in the interests of victims and vulnerable people,

    

 being aware that the components of the Movement have both a collective and an individual responsibility to give effect to this new spirit of cooperation,

1.  takes note of the proposal not to revise at the present stage the provisions in the Statutes concerning the statutory bodies of the Movement;

2.  further takes note of the summary of recommendations concerning those statutory provisions;

3.  decides to adopt by consensus the “Agreement on the organization of the international activities of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement”;

4.  recommends that the process initiated by the Study Group on the Future of the Movement and continued by two Advisory Commissions be regarded as at an end; that the process of renewal be continued by the statutory bodies of the Movement; and to this effect that the Standing Commission call annually for a report on the implementation of the Agreement from the ICRC and the Federation, to be transmitted to all National Societies as part of a consultative process;

5.  further recommends that the Standing Commission include an item on the Agreement in the agenda of each Council of Delegates, thus establishing a process of regular review of the Agreement.

Resolution 7

 FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 recognizing the importance of the relationship that has been built up between the senior managements of the International Federation Secretariat and the ICRC to ensure the effectiveness of the operations of the Movement’s components,

    

 recognizing also the importance of the establishment of the “Yverdon” meetings, the Study Group on the Future of the Movement, the Policy and Planning Advisory Commission and the Advisory Commission in order to enable the Movement to find a way to strengthen cohesion and cooperation within the Movement,

    

 recalling the importance for the Movement not only to be united, coherent and cost-effective, but also to present such an image of itself as to be able to work in the interest of the victims and the most vulnerable,

    

 taking note of the joint report on functional cooperation submitted by the ICRC and the International Federation,

    

 having endorsed the Agreement on the organization of the international activities of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,

    

 urging all components of the Movement to make the effective implementation of the Agreement a high priority,

1.  recommends that

(a) the managements of the ICRC and the Federation together establish a task force in order to actively develop new initiatives to promote functional cooperation based on the guiding and management principles set out in the new Agreement, and further elaborated in terms of reference to be agreed,

(b) the ICRC and the Federation, in countries where both are already operating, explore and advance, in cooperation with the operating National Societies and involved participating National Societies, new systems for implementing effective functional cooperation;

2.  requests that the ICRC/Federation task force involve concerned National Societies at least twice a year to establish plans, monitor implementation of the project and evaluate functional cooperation against agreed performance indicators, in order to:

(a) report back regularly to their respective governing bodies,

(b) report to the Council of Delegates in 1999 and the Standing Commission as part of the reporting arrangements outlined in the new Agreement.

Resolution 8

 PEACE, INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW  

 AND HUMAN RIGHTS  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 having taken cognizance of the various interim and progress reports on work accomplished in areas pertaining to children in armed conflicts, street children, and the role and attitude of the Movement in regard to arms transfers, anti-personnel landmines and the security of field personnel,

    

 recalling all the efforts made to foster peace and develop the Movement’s contribution to respect for human rights and for international humanitarian law, and the importance of ensuring the promotion and implementation thereof,

    

 stressing the need to encourage any initiative aimed at promoting indigenous local capacities for conflict resolution and peace building, tolerance, solidarity, dialogue and mutual understanding, at combating all forms of discrimination and at raising awareness of those values,

    

 reaffirming the necessity for the Movement, which upholds such values, to continue its efforts to spread knowledge of the rules of international humanitarian law and the principles and ideals of the Movement and to achieve greater respect for the fundamental rights of the individual,

1. With regard to children affected by armed conflict:

recalling Resolution 2C of the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995), recommending that “parties to conflict refrain from arming children under the age of 18 years and take every feasible step to ensure that children under the age of 18 years do not take part in hostilities”, and Resolution 5 of the Council of Delegates (1995) endorsing a Plan of Action for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement concerning children in armed conflicts,

    

 welcoming the resolution adopted by the Organization of African Unity (Sixty-sixth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers, 26-30 May 1997, Harare, Zimbabwe) condemning recruitment and conscription of children under the age of 18 years,

    

 mindful that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Additional Protocols establish protection for children affected by armed conflict and provide a basis for the Movement’s services on behalf of these children,

    

 commending the progress made by the ICRC, the National Societies and the International Federation in implementing th e Movement’s Programme on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (CABAC),

    

 welcoming the work of the international coordinating group set up to monitor implementation of the Plan of Action, and the cooperation established between the Movement and other organizations,

    

 concerned by the number of contexts in which armed conflict is still having a serious effect on children, and by the resulting need to increase support for activities on their behalf,

    

 regretting the fact that no international agreement has yet been reached to set at 18 years the minimum age limit for recruitment into armed forces or armed groups and for participation in hostilities,

1.  urges all National Societies, the International Federation and the ICRC to implement the Plan of Action for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement concerning children in armed conflicts;

2.  further urges all National Societies, the International Federation and the ICRC to support the work of the international coordinating group set up to facilitate and monitor implementation of the Plan of Action;

3.  takes note with interest of the report on progress achieved in implementing the Plan of Action and requests the international coordinating group to submit a report to the Council of Delegates in 1999;

4.  calls on all the components of the Movement to undertake specific action aimed at providing all necessary psychological and social assistance to children affected by armed conflict, and to take every feasible measure to help reintegrate the children into their families, their communities and their normal environment after the conflict;

5.  appeals to all National Societies to promote the Movement’s position on the 18-year age limit for recruitment and participation in hostilities, with a view to encouraging their respective governments to adopt national legislation and recruitment procedures in line with this position;

6.  asks National Societies of countries that have already adopted the 18-year age limit for recruitment and participation to urge their respective governments to make their positions known to other governments, and t o encourage their respective governments to participate in and support the process of drafting an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on involvement of children in armed conflicts;

7.  acknowledges the efforts made by the ICRC and the International Federation to support and facilitate action by National Societies with regard to this 18-year age limit and to promote the minimum age limit in the relevant international fora, and requests them to continue those efforts within the framework of the Plan of Action for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement concerning children affected by armed conflict.

 2. With regard to street children:  

deeply concerned about the growing number of street children in the vast majority of countries and the conditions in which they are forced to live, which deprive them of their basic rights,

    

 expressing grave concern at all forms of abuse, exploitation and neglect to which street children are particularly vulnerable,

    

 aware of the capacities and potential of National Societies to advocate the plight of street children and to contribute to improving their situation and meeting their particular needs,

    

 recalling Resolution 2, operative para. 5, adopted by the 1995 Council of Delegates and resolution 51/77, Chapter VI, of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 12 December 1996, on the plight of street children,

    

 recalling the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the major international legal instrument for the protection of the rights of all children, including street children,

1.  takes note of and congratulates the Henry Dunant Institute for its study on street children carried out in collaboration with the ICRC and the International Federation and thanks National Societies which have actively contributed to it;

2.  urges National Societies to include street children in their health, social, or youth programmes, si nce they are an especially vulnerable group;

3.  recommends that National Societies draw inspiration from experiences developed within the Movement with street children, and strongly encourages them to cooperate effectively within the Movement and with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations which have expertise in this domain;

4.  calls upon National Societies to actively take part in advocating the plight of street children, since this problem is still denied in some countries;

5.  invites National Societies to create preventive programmes, to provide assistance to street children in order to guarantee their rights as set down notably in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to ensure their reintegration into society, with the participation of the children themselves;

6.  requests the International Federation to establish a task force on street children to reinforce awareness of this issue, to draw up and implement a Plan of Action on the basis of the study of the Henry Dunant Institute, with the aim of encouraging action by National Societies, and to report back to the next Council of Delegates.

 3. With regard to anti-personnel landmines:  

deeply alarmed by the appalling level of suffering caused by the presence of millions of anti-personnel landmines worldwide,

    

 endorsing the campaign of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement against the sco urge of anti-personnel mines,

    

 noting with appreciation the proposals made by the ICRC to the international community to greatly improve assistance to landmine victims,

    

 welcoming the increasing number of unilateral decisions to ban anti-personnel mines and of regional initiatives for the establishment of zones free of these weapons,

    

 welcoming also the rapid progress being made towards the global prohibition of the production, transfer, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel mines,

    

 welcoming in particular the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, adopted in Oslo on 18 September 1997,

    

 taking into account Resolution 10 of the 1995 Council of Delegates,

1.  urgently calls upon National Societies to promote the signing by their governments, in Ottawa in December 1997, of the aforementioned comprehensive international humanitarian law Convention prohibiting

anti-personnel mines, to work for the earliest possible national ratification of this treaty to ensure its rapid entry into force, and to encourage their governments to take all a ppropriate additional means to achieve the total elimination of all anti-personnel mines;

2.  calls upon National Societies, where required, to encourage their governments to adopt national legislation outlawing anti-personnel landmines;

3.  urges all components of the Movement to intensify their efforts in support of the total prohibition and elimination of all anti-personnel mines, the care, treatment and rehabilitation of landmine victims, including their social and economic reintegration, and mine awareness programmes as foreseen, inter alia, in Article 6 of the aforementioned Convention;

4.  encourages all components of the Movement, when considering support for mine clearance activities, to follow the guidelines for the Movement on this subject;

5.  requests the ICRC and the International Federation, in consultation with National Societies, to elaborate a long-term strategy to address the anti-personnel mines problem, in particular the suffering of victims, and further develop mine awareness programmes, thus showing the continuing commitment of the Movement to the mines issue;

6.  requests the ICRC and the International Federation to report to the 1999 meeting of the Council of Delegates on progress made towards the total prohibition and elimination of all anti-personnel landmines, in alleviating the suffering of victims, and in elaborating and carrying out the aforementioned long-term strategy of the Movement.

 4. With regard to arms transfers:  

noting with concern the easy access of combatants and civilian s unfamiliar with the requirements of international humanitarian law to a wide variety of weapons, particularly small arms, and their frequent use against civilian populations and in violation of basic humanitarian principles,

    

 recalling Council of Delegates Resolution 2, para. 8, of 1995, which called for study and clarification of the Movement’s role and attitude on the problem of arms transfers,

    

 recalling  further the concern about the proliferation of weapons expressed by the Movement to the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Conference’s mandate to the ICRC to study the relationship between arms availability and violations of international humanitarian law,

    

 welcoming the ICRC’s discussions with legal advisers of National Societies, in October 1996, on the subject of arms transfers and international humanitarian law,

    

 taking note of the report to the present Council of Delegates on changing patterns of arms transfers since the end of the Cold War,

1.  expresses its concern about the easy availability of arms which may facilitate violations of international humanitarian law;

2.  supports the ICRC’s efforts to document the mann er in which unrestrained arms transfers may facilitate violations of international humanitarian law and increase the suffering of civilians in situations of armed conflict;

3.  requests that the role and attitude of the Movement on this issue be further clarified, before the next meeting of the Council of Delegates.

 5. With regard to the security and safety of the staff of humanitarian organizations:  

alarmed by the ever-more frequent threats to the safety and security of Red Cross and Red Crescent personnel and of the staff of other humanitarian organizations, in particular through intentional and often fatal violent attacks, as well as by hostage-taking,

    

 worried that the targeting of acts of violence against neutral and impartial humanitarian activities is likely to put threatened populations in jeopardy through lack of protection and assistance,

    

 concerned by the failure to respect the red cross and red crescent emblems in these situations and aware of the increased risk of confusion in the field between the humanitarian players and between their different modes of action, and of the consequent deterioration of security,

    

 reaffirming that humanitarian law also extends protection to the relief work of impartial and humanitarian organizations which is carried out, without any adverse disti nction, in favour of the civilian population,

    

 aware of the forthcoming Periodical Meeting of States, where the security and safety of humanitarian personnel will be discussed,

    

 recalling Resolution 9 of the 1995 Council of Delegates,

1.  appeals to all components of the Movement to urge States to take all necessary steps, both nationally and internationally, without prejudice to the Fundamental Principles, to ensure unimpeded access to vulnerable people;

2.  appeals to all components of the Movement to urge States to take all necessary steps, both nationally and internationally, without prejudice to the Fundamental Principles, to maximize the security and the safety of humanitarian workers;

3.  reaffirms the obligation, under international humanitarian law, of parties to armed conflicts to respect and protect relief work and in particular personnel engaged in relief operations;

4.  reaffirms the obligation of the States party to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 to adopt national legislation protecting the red cross and red crescent emblems and the need to broaden awareness of the protective significance of these emblems by the States and by the components of the Movement;

5.  reminds all components of the Movement of the necessity to adhere strictly to the Fundamental Principles in all their actions , of their obligations under Resolution 9 of the 1995 Council of Delegates and of the need to promote clear and consistent humanitarian principles and standards among all humanitarian agencies providing assistance and protection;

6.  strongly recommends that all components of the Movement further develop recruitment and training policies and activities, as well as improve their communication and information networks on these issues;

7.  recommends that all components of the Movement working in the field seek and rely more on informed local knowledge of the safety and security situation;

8.  expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of the murdered Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers.

 6. Follow-up:  

decides to continue placing a regular item on its agenda devoted to the promotion of activities aimed at fostering peace and achieving greater respect for the rules of international humanitarian law and the fundamental rights of the individual.

Resolution 9

 COMMUNICATION POLICY OF THE INTERNATIONAL  

 RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MOVEMENT  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 recalling Resolution 6 adopted by the Council in 1995,

1.  welcomes the report of the Communication Forum of the Movemen t set up as a result of that resolution

2.  congratulates the Federation Secretariat, the ICRC and the National Societies involved on their work;

3.  adopts and calls for the implementation of the report of the Forum as the current communication policy for the Movement and in particular:

(a)  encourages all National Societies to introduce the Red Cross/Red Crescent pin project for 8 May each year, using a common cross and crescent modelled on the British Red Cross campaign, in order to raise the profile of the Red Cross/Red Crescent worldwide and provide a practical vehicle for future global campaigns, including the Movement’s activities for the millennium,

(b)  supports the production of a directory of information staff within the Movement and the introduction of an alert system to promote communication between information departments of the Movement, and to improve their handling of media issues,

(c)  endorses the Movement web site project managed from the Federation Secretariat and urges National Societies and the ICRC to support the project with both material for the site and financial support for the necessary resources, and to link it with their own sites,

(d)  commends the pilot media training project funded by the British Red Cross and run by the ICRC on behalf of the Forum and calls for its introduction as part of the capacity-building programme of the Federation. It further urges the ICRC, the International Federation and the National Societies to fund the media training project in the future,

(e)  welcomes the production of the promotional television spot produced by the ICRC for National Societies on behalf of the Forum and urges all parts of the Movement to promote its screening,

(f)  supports contacts with leading international television companies aimed at producing coverage of Red Cross/Red Crescent values and actions on behalf of the victims of conflict and disaster, and the most vulnerable, and commends the support of the American Red Cross in furthering the project,

(g)  endorses the Forum’s list of key messages and requests the information and communication departments within the Movement to promote their use;

4.  expresses its thanks for the financial contributions, in the form of membership of the Communication Forum of the Movement, of the National Societies of Australia, Belgium, China (the former Hong Kong branch of the British Red Cross Society), Colombia, Lebanon, Malaysia, South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States;

5.  expresses particular gratitude for the financial contribution to the Forum’s running costs by the National Societies of Italy and Norway;

6.  also recognizes the financial and administrative support of the ICRC, the Federation Secretariat, the American Red Cross, the Belgian Red Cross, the British Red Cross and the South African Red Cross Society;

7.  agrees that the Communication Forum of the Movement should continue its work to implement the projects already identified, consider further Movement communication projects, and report on progress to the 1999 Council of Delegates;

8.  calls on National Societies to support the work of the Forum through financial contributions to its running costs in 1998 and 1999.

Resolution 10

 INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT  

 MILLENNIUM YEAR  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 taking into account the changing humanitarian and development needs of the world’s most vulnerable people,

    

 aware of how important it is for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to continue to develop its services and to promote humanitarian values, ideals and actions,

    

 recalling    Resolution 6 of the 1995 Council of Delegates on the Information Policy of the Movement, in which the ICRC and the International Federation were invited to work skilfully with all National Societies to deliver clear and concise messages to the world,

    

 re-emphasizing the importance of communication at all levels in promoting the humanitarian values of the Movement and real concern and action for the world’s most vulnerable groups and victims of armed conflict,

    

 recognizing that the opportunity of a new millennium can be used by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to promote its humanitarian values and action worldwide,

1.  welcomes the proposal of the International Federation for an overall concept and global strategy for a Movement “millennium year” (8 May 1999 to 8 May 2000), which will include an ICRC project to mark the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and involve all components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement;

2.  notes    that the proposal for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement millennium year encompasses such key dates as the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, the 100th anniversary of the Hague Peace Conference and the 27th International Conference;

3.  bears in mind that, in order to be effective, the action and communication efforts of the Movement will require that adequate resources be identified, raised and allocated for specific events and programmes;

4.  appeals to all National Societies, the International Federation and the ICRC to implement, coordinate and support programmes and activities during the millennium year.

Resol ution 11

 COMMISSION FOR THE FINANCING OF THE ICRC  

The Council of Delegates,

    

 having taken note of the interim report and of the supplementary report submitted by the Commission for the Financing of the ICRC,

    

 recalling the numerous resolutions in which National Societies have, since 1921, shown their concern to see the Geneva institutions receive the necessary resources, and have expressed their willingness to provide support to that effect,

    

 recognizing that the ICRC requires support and financial independence in order to carry out its activities for victims of war and internal violence,

    

 further recalling Resolution 7 of the 1995 Council of Delegates, which asked the Commission for the Financing of the ICRC to review its role and working methods,

1.  renews the mandate of the Commission for the Financing of the ICRC in its present composition for two years;

2.  asks the Commission to favour, within its original mandate, mutual consultation between the ICRC and National Societies on questions relating to financing (whether in kind, cash or services) and to resource management, it being understood that emphasis should be put on seeking ways and means to adapt to the constantly changing humanitarian aid environment;

3.  recommends that the Commission adopt a flexible way of working whereby informal ad hoc meetings can be held throughout the year whenever some of its members are gathered, the outcome of such discussions then being presented to the annual plenary meeting;

4.  thanks the National Societies which have already contributed to the financing of the ICRC and encourages all National Societies to join in this common effort;

5.  asks the Commission to periodically review, in close consultation with the ICRC, the rate of National Societies’ contributions to the ICRC’s headquarters budget, it being recommended that each National Society’s contribution should be equal to the percentage assigned to it in the Federation’s established annual scale of contributions;

6.  requests the Commission to establish a system providing for balanced geographical representation in its membership; the term of office shall be four years, and it is recommended that no member should serve more than two terms; National Societies arriving at the end of their terms should, subsequent to consultation with the ICRC, recommend a replacement National Society from the same geographical region;

7.  further requests the Commission to report to it during the next meeting of the Council of Delegates in 1999.

 Notes :  

1 “Criteria for evaluating possible solutions  

On the basis of past and more recent discussions within the Movement on the plurality of the emblems, the following six criteria have been defined for judging any proposed solution:

1. Any solution must be assessed primarily in the light of the protection afforded to victims and must actually lead to an improvement in such protection.

2. Any solution must be based on the existence of the two emblems currently in use, that is, the cross and the crescent, which are de facto placed on an equal footing — even though such equality has not yet been enshrined in the Conventions — and which are known worldwide.

3. Any solution must avoid creating new obstacles for the Movement’s ideal of unity and must, on the contrary, be compatible with that ideal.

4. Even though this ideal of unity naturally extends to the emblem, the objective of having a single emblem for both protective and indicative purposes is not on the agenda at present; the aim is to solve the problems mentioned on pages 9-12.

5. Any solution must be capable of settling these problems without creating new ones for National Societies which have no difficulties in this respect, and which must be able to carry on with their present emblems (status quo).

6. The issue of the emblem must not cause division within the Movement; any solution must be very widely acceptable and any resolution on this crucial matter must be adopted by consensus.”




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