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Resolutions of the Council of Delegates – 1999

30-10-1999

adopted at its session of 29-30 October 1999, Geneva, Switzerland

 

  pdf file   Resolutions 8 and 9 (children), PDF format    (129 kb)  
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 RESOLUTION 1  

 WORK OF 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 1997,

 commending the Standing Commission for the structural changes it instituted since 1995 and its policy of greater information-sharing in order to carry out successfully its statutory mandate,

 reaffirming the recommendations and decisions entailed in Resolution 3 of the 1995 Council of Delegates and Resolutions 1 and 6 of the 1997 Council of Delegates,

1. requests the Standing Commission to establish a Working Group for an overall strategy for the Movement, a s referred to in Resolution 5 of this Council of Delegates relating to the implementation of the Seville Agreement,

2. urges the Standing Commission to continue to actively promote cooperation among the components of the Movement and to make proposals to enhance this cooperation,

3. encourages the Standing Commission to pursue its efforts to further develop its communications and to enhance its involvement in regular meetings including the various components of the Movement,

4. invites the Standing Commission to develop practical measures to enable its members to carry out their important work for the Movement.

   
 

    

 RESOLUTION 2  

 EMBLEM  

    

    

The Council of Delegates,

 recognising the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's Fundamental Principle of universality and the common goal of States, which are parties to the Geneva Conventions, and of the Movement to remove any obstacles to the universal application of the 1949 Geneva Conventions,

 further recognising the curren t problems in some States and National Societies regarding the emblems of the red cross or red crescent,

 taking into account and commending the work and consultations undertaken since 1995 by the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent at the request of the Movement, and in particular resolution 2 of the 1997 Council of Delegates,

1. calls upon the 27th International Conference

a) to invite the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and the Red Crecent to establish a joint working group from the Movement and States on the emblems with a mandate to find a comprehensive solution, as rapidly as possible, which is acceptable to all parties in terms of substance and procedure;

b) to invite the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to nominate the membership of the joint working group which will represent the shared responsibility of the Movement and States on the emblem, and to establish its terms of reference;

c) to request the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to establish the practical arrangements with States to carry out the tasks of the joint working group;

d) to request the joint working group to report back, through the Standing Commission, to the 2001 Council of Delegates and to the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

   
 

    

    

 RESOLUTION 3  

 AGENDA AND PROGRAMME  

  OF THE 27th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT  

    

The Council of Delegates,

 having examined  the provisional agenda and programme of the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent,

 adopts this document and transmits it to the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

   
 

 RESOLUTION 4  

 OFFICERS OF THE 27th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE  

 OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT  

    

The Council of Delegates,

 having examined the list of candidates nominated for election as officers of the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent,

 endorses the list of candidates and transmits it to the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Chairman of the Conference (NS): Dr. Mamdouh Gabr (Egyptian RC)

Vice-Chairmen (NS): M. Franz E. Muheim (Swiss Red Cross), Ms. Zoy Katevas De Sclabos (Chilean Red Cross)

Vice-Chairmen (Gov.):  Ambassador Yolande Biké (Gabon), Ambassador Philippe Kirsch (Canada)

Co-Chairman of the Plenary Commission, Theme I (Gov.): H.E. Mr. Boris Shikhmuradov (Turkmenistan)

Co-Chairman of the Plenary Commission for Theme II (Gov.): Ambassador Christopher Lamb (Australia)

Co-Chairman of the Plenary Commission for Theme III (NS): Mr. Teofilo Siman (Salvadorean Red Cross Society)

Rapporteur of the Plenary Commission for Theme I (NS): Mr. Tom Buruku (Ugandan Red Cross)

Rapporteur of the Plenary Commission for Theme II (NS): Dr. Tahar Cheniti (Tunisian Red Crescent)

Rapporteur of the Plenary Commission for Theme III (Gov.): Ambassador Anne Anderson (Ireland)

Chairman of the Drafting Committee (Gov.): Ambassador Philippe Kirsch (Canada)

Vice-Chairwoman (Gov.): Ambassador Marika Fahlén ( Sweden)

Vice-Chairmen (NS) : Sir Alan Munro (British Red Cross), Mr. Jean-Pierre Cabouat (French Red Cross)

Secretary General of the Conference: Ambassador Jean-François Kammer (Swiss)

Assistant Secretaries General: Ms. Yolande Camporini (Federation), Mr. Jean-Luc Blondel (ICRC)

   
 

 RESOLUTION 5  

 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SEVILLE AGREEMENT  

    

    

The Council of Delegates,

 recalling that in its resolution 6, the 1997 Council of Delegates adopted by consensus the Agreement on the Organisation of the International Activities of the Components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,

 noting with appreciation the report on the implementation of the Seville Agreement for the years 1998-1999 submitted to the Standing Commission by the ICRC and the International Federation,

 further noting that this Report includes also the report of the ICRC/Federation task force on functional cooperation established in accordance with Resolution 7 of the 1997 Council of Delegates,

 taking into account  the comments and observations made by the National Societies, ICRC and the International Federation during the session of the Council of Delegates,

 thanking the National Societies of Afghanistan, Canada, Mozambique, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe for their involvement in the functional cooperation task force,

 stressing the importance that all components of the Movement pursue the implementation of the Seville Agreement and enhance their efforts in training volunteers and staff on the Agreement,

 noting nonetheless that, within the fra mework of the Seville Agreement, more needs to be done both to improve the preparedness of the Movement to respond to emergencies and to enhance the long-term operational capacities of National Societies,

1. requests the Standing Commission to establish a Working Group composed of ICRC, International Federation Secretariat as well as of National Societies'personalities with relevant knowledge and experience to develop proposals for an overall strategy for the Movement, designed to achieve the goals identified in the Preamble of the Seville Agreement, drawing on previous reports on co-operation within the Movement, on the ICRC Avenir Study, on the Federation's Strategy 2010 and other current work evaluating operations in the field;

    

 2. further requests the Standing Commission, as a first priority within the context of the Working Group, to establish an Ad Hoc Group on the conduct of international relief operations. This Group, to be composed of suitably qualified persons drawn from the ICRC, International Federation and National Societies with direct experience of relief operations, assisted by independent experts, and drawing on recent operational experience should, as a matter of urgency, develop operational models designed to facilitate immediate field action, coordination of appeals for resources, effective management of all the resources of the Movement by the relevant Lead Agency, and the development of the capacity of National Societies affected by disasters, thus enabling rapid and effective relief to be brought to the victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters;

3. further requests the Standing Commission to consult with the interested parties for the implementation of the proposals emerging from the Ad Hoc Group at the earliest possible moment, ensuring that they are integrated with the longer term work on the development of an overall Movement Strategy.

   
 

 RESOLUTION 6  

 The Movement’s Policy on Advocacy  

    

    

The Council of Delegates,

 welcoming the follow-up given to its debate at the 1997 Council of Delegates on the subject of advocacy,

 taking note of the paper presented to the Council of Delegates and entitled “The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Involvement in Advocacy”,

 recalling that advocacy, i.e. “pleading in support of, supporting or speaking in favour of someone (a cause or a poli cy)”, is a part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent mission, in addition to or in support of services rendered to the community,

 recalling further the Principle of humanity stating that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement endeavours to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found,

 noting that whereas advocacy may normally be pursued through dialogue with governments and other concerned parties, private diplomacy, communications, and conference or public statements of policy, there may be issues at the national or international level where, owing to their significance and the small likelihood of achieving change through traditional means of advocacy, a public campaign is deemed necessary,

 noting further the results achieved by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on both the national and international level in favour of victims of conflict and disaster and vulnerable people,

1. encourages the components of the Movement to pursue advocacy initiatives aimed at creating awareness of the conditions of victims of conflicts and disasters and vulnerable people;

2. confirms that whereas advocacy initiatives may normally involve dialogue and private diplomacy, public campaigns and other means may be deemed necessary, taking into account the mandates as defined in the Statutes of the Movement, and capacities, and operational environments of the different components of the Movement;

3. decides with regard to public campaigns, as follows:

a) A National Society or group of National Societies considering the launch of a national campaign should bear in mind:

  • the likely consequences on maintaining positive relations with the government or other organizations affected by the campaign;

  • the need, while considering co-operation with other organizations with similar interests, to preserve its distinct identity;

  • the possible consequences for other components of the Movement.

b) Concerning internationally promoted campaigns for wider respect for international humanitarian law, better assistance for victims of conflicts and disasters, or a more effective response to the needs of the most vulnerable members of society:

  • any decision to launch such campaigns must be reached through a rigorous, structured and transparent process;

  • and should be launched within the framework and general guidelines to be issued by the ICRC, the International Federation or jointly by the two components.

Such internationally promoted public campaigns must respect the following criteria:

  • the launching of the campaign is prepared by early consultation with all the components of the Movement, is based on their missions as defined by the Statutes of the Movement, and is agreed by the appropriate governance body;

  • the timetable of any internationally led advocacy campaign should be agreed by the ICRC and the International Federation;

  • through their operations and programmes, the components of the Movement have sufficient knowledge and experience of the issue to be raised, so as to be credible and effective advocates;

  • the desired outcome of the campaign is precisely defined and the long-term allocation of resources for running the campaign are clearly identified;

  • the lines of communication and decision-making relating to the campaign are determined within the Movement and mechanisms for evaluating the impact of the campaign are identified;

  • the action to be taken and the messages to be put across are not expected to have a negative impact on the work of any component of the Movement or to severely jeopardize its identity or working relations with the authorities or its operation capacity or efficiency.

   
 

    

 RESOLUTION 7  

 RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT AND PEACE  

    

The Council of Delegates,

 recalling the definition of Peace given in the Preamble of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red C rescent Movement, which states that “ by its humanitarian work and the dissemination of its ideals, the Movement promotes a lasting peace, which is not simply the absence of war, but rather a dynamic process of co-operation among all States and Peoples; co-operation founded on freedom, independence, national sovereignty, equality, respect of human rights and a fair and equitable distribution of resources to meet the needs of peoples ”,

 alarmed by the existing violence in most parts of the world and the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and of the fundamental human rights which increases tensions and insecurity,

    

 recognising that human rights law is complementary to international humanitarian law in certain action oriented work in the field,

 bearing in mind the numerous resolutions on peace drawn up within the Movement since 1921,

 noting ongoing reflections on the contribution of the Movement to conflict prevention and peace building,

 recognising also the necessity for new initiatives and constructive measures based on the humanitarian work of the Movement in order to strengthen understanding between individuals and people and therefore to contribute to build a culture of peace through dissemination of its ideals and Principles,

1. invites all components of the Movement to ensure that their humanitarian work takes into account the basic human rights of the benefici aries they serve;

2. commends the work by all components of the Movement involved in building local capacities for peace by paying attention to how aid can support Peace;

3. invites the components of the Movement to take part in the long term efforts to build a culture of peace and tolerance;

4. encourages National Societies or groups of National Societies to elaborate action orientedprogrammes on the prevention and mitigation of violence and peace building;

5. requests National Societies to keep the ICRC and the International Federation informed of progress of this work, so as to maximise learning on this subject within the Movement.

   

    

 RESOLUTION 8  

 CHILDREN AFFECTED BY ARMED CONFLICT  

The Council of Delegates,

 recalling previous Resolutions adopted by International Conferences and Councils of Delegates, in particular Resolution 5 of the 1995 Council of Delegates, and Resolution 8.1 of the 1997 Council of Delegates relative to the protection of children in armed conflict and the role and action of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in their favour,

 seriously alarmed by the increasing number of children involved in armed conflict and by the tremendous suffering endured by those children, and deeply concerned by the seriousness and magnitude of the long-term consequences and the need for physical and psychological rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict,

 gravely alarmed and concerned by the fact that children even under the age of 15 years are recruited in armed forces and armed groups in violation of international humanitarian law,

    

 stressing the importance to raise to 18 years the minimum age for recruitment and participation in hostilities and to reinforce or develop the existing legal provisions,

 reaffirming the relevance of the objectives set out in the Plan of Action and the need to pursue efforts to ensure its full implementation,

1. takes note of the report “Children Affected by Armed Conflict” and the other work of the International Co-ordinating Group, set up to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the Plan of Action of the Movement, and thanks it for its work and contribution to actions taken in favour of children affected by armed conflict;

2. requests the ICRC, the International Federation a nd the National Societies to pursue and strengthen the implementation of the Programme concerning children affected by armed conflict;

3. invites all components of the Movement to better report on their activities in favour of children and to include this topic regularly on the agenda of all meetings of the Movement and urges the ICRC and the International Federation to re-examine the co-ordination mechanisms to make them as effective as possible and to develop with National Societies a consultation process aimed at reinforcing the commitment to children affected by armed conflict;

4. encourages all National Societies to support, particularly through contacts with their government, the adoption of international instruments implementing the principle of non-participation and non-recruitment of children below the age of 18 in armed conflicts with a view to such instruments being applicable to all situations of armed conflict and to all armed groups;

5. urges the ICRC and the International Federation in conjunction with interested National Societies and in consultation with specialised organisations to draw up guidelines for prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of children in their communities in order to give direction to National Societies in their work in these fields;

6. asks the ICRC and the International Federation to report on progress of the work and initiatives undertaken within the Movement at the next meeting of the Council of Delegates.

   
 

    

 RESOLUTION 9  

 STREET CHILDREN  

    

The Council of Delegates,

    

 deeply alarmed by the phenomenon of street children, their increasing numbers, the deprivation of their rights, and the abuse, exploitation and neglect experienced by them,

    

 recognising their needs as one of the most vulnerable groups in society,

    

 reaffirming the long standing concern of the Movement   expressed most notably through Resolution 2 of the 1995 Council of Delegates and Resolution 8.2 of the 1997 Council of Delegates on the plight of street children,

 recalling the efforts made by the international community to foster respect for human rights and in particular the rights of the child through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Resolution 51/77, Chapter VI of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 12 December 1996 which focuses on the plight of street children,

 aware of the capacities and potential of National Societies to advocate the plight of st reet children, to contribute towards the improvement of their situation and to meet their particular needs,

1. takes note of progress made and the work carried out by the International Federation and National Societies in compliance with the Council of Delegates Resolution 8.2 in 1997, and thanks them for the work undertaken;

2. welcomes the establishment of an International Federation Task Force on Street Children and the preliminary work which has been carried out concerning the formulation of a Plan of Action, and recognises the need to reinforce these activities;

3. urges National Societies, as part of their action to improve the situation of the most vulnerable, to initiate, or to become more involved in street children's programmes, and to focus their work on long-term strategies, including advocacy and prevention, leading to concrete and sustainable improvement in the health and social situation of street children;

4. urges National Societies to carry out such activities emphasizing the principle of child participation and the need for effective collaboration within and outside the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement;

5. requests National Societies to actively support the Task Force on Street Children through the provision of the funding necessary for the continuation of its work and by providing substa ntive input and ideas for the development of a plan of action;

6. requests the International Federation to continue to co-ordinate the work of the Task Force in developing and implementing the plan of action.

   
 

 RESOLUTION 10  

 MOVEMENT STRATEGY ON LANDMINES  

The Council of Delegates,

 recalling that Resolution 8, point 3, of the 1997 Council of Delegates requested the ICRC and the International Federation, in consultation with National Societies, to elaborate a long-term strategy to address the anti-personnel mines problem,

 aware that the National Societies have the capacity and the potential to help improve the situation of mine victims and meet their specific needs,

 recalling also the Movement's concern in the face of the proliferation of these weapons and deeply alarmed by the horrendous suffering caused by the presence of millions of anti-personnel landmines throughout the world,

 welcoming the entry into force on 1 March 1999 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, signed in Ottawa in December 1997,

1. adopts the Movement Strategy on Landmines and urges all the Movement's components to implement it;

2. asks the ICRC to assume the lead role in this field and to offer advice and support to National Societies wishing to launch programmes within the framework of the Strategy;

3. asks the ICRC, in consultation with the International Federation, to follow developments in the situation, to support the National Society programmes and activities in the framework of the Movement Strategy on Landmines, and to report on the progress made to the 2001 session of the Council of Delegates.

   
 

 RESOLUTION 11  

 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 suppress and repress violations of international humanitarian law,

 noting with great satisfaction the adoption of the Rome Statute for the creation of the International Criminal Court as a complementary tool for a more effective repression of war crimes,

 considering the efforts already undertaken by the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court with a view to draft the Elements of Crime and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

 taking note with appreciation of the previous contributions of the ICRC and the International Federation to the negotiating process and the on-going efforts of the ICRC, especially to assist States in the drafting of the Elements of War Crimes,

1. invites National Societies to support all these efforts and to promote the ratification of the Rome Statute without making the declaration under Art. 124 of the Rome Statute, while at the same time encouraging States to comply with their existing obligation under international humanitarian law to suppress and repress violations of this law;

2. requests the ICRC to continue to participate actively in the ongoing negotiations in the Preparatory Commission, especially to work that the " acquis " with regard to international humanitarian law are properly reflected in the document on the Elements of Crimes;

3. further requests the ICRC, in consultation with the International Federation, to follow developments closely, to actively keep National Societies informed, and to report to the 2001 session of the Council of Delegates on progress made in establishing an International Criminal Court.

   
 

 RESOLUTION 12  

 ARMS AVAILABILITY AND THE SITUATION OF CIVILIANS IN ARMED CONFLICT AND POST-CONFLICT SITUATIONS  

The Council of Delegates,

 reiterating the preoccupation of the Council of Delegates with the easy access of combatants untrained in international humanitarian law, civilian populations and even children to a wide variety of weapons, particularly small arms, and their frequent use against civilian populations and in violation of basic humanitarian principles,

 recalling the mandate of the 26th International Conference to the ICRC to study the relationship between arms availability and violations of international humanitarian law, as well as the Resolutions 2.8 of the1995 Council of Delegates and 8.4 of the1997 Council of Delegates requesting that the role and attitude of the Movement on arms availability be clarified by the 1999 Council of Delegates,

 welcoming the ICRC's new study on " Arms Availability and the Situation of Civilians in Armed Conflict " and its consultations since 1997 with all components of the Movement on this subject,

 convinced that the proliferation of arms and ammunition can increase tensions, heighten civilian casualties, prolong the duration of conflicts and hinder the provision of humanitarian assistance to populations in need,

 further convinced of the relationship between unregulated availability of arms and violations of international humanitarian law and a deterioration of the situation of civilians,

1. endorses the overall ana lysis and conclusions of the ICRC's study on " Arms Availability and the Situation of Civilians in Armed Conflict " ;

2. calls on States to review their policies concerning the production, availability and transfer of arms and ammunition, as well as explosives and other related materials, in light of their responsibility to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to assist and protect civilian populations;

3. calls on States , which have not already done so, to elaborate rules, based on respect for international humanitarian law and other appropriate norms, governing the transfer and availability of arms and ammunition. The Council of Delegates calls on States, as a first step, to halt arms transfers to parties committing or tolerating serious violations of human rights or of international humanitarian law;

4. calls on all components of the Movement to help ensure, during the 27th International Conference, that clear proposals for action on these concerns are maintained in the Plan of Action;

5. encourages National Societies , to the extent possible in their own contexts, to actively raise public awareness of the human costs of the widespread availability of arms and ammunition and of its implications for the fabric of international humanitarian law. The ICRC is requested to support such efforts by providing technical advice and information materials in order to promote a culture of non-violence;

6. discourages components of the Movement from engaging in public debate on specific transfers of weapons to specific recipients in ways which could compromise the Movement's neutrality or operational capacity;

7. requests the ICRC, in consultation with the International Federation, to submit to the next Council of Delegates a report on Movement activities and international progress in this field with a view to consideration by the Council of any further steps which may be appropriate.