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Movement action in favour of refugees and internally displaced persons

30-06-2003 Report

Report on the implementation of resolution 4 of the 2001 Council of Delegates - Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Geneva, 30 November - 2 December 2003

 Document prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Item 8.1 of the provisional agenda)  

 

      Executive summary
      Movement response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons
      Coordination and Cooperation within the Movement
      Coordination and cooperation with other humanitarian actors
      Development of a Movement strategy
      Resolution
      Annex - Minimum elements to be included in operational agreements between movement components and their external operational partners  

   
 
 
Executive summary 
 

    

In 2001 the Council of Delegates adopted a wide-ranging resolution on Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. 2001 Council of Delegates, Resolution 4, “Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”. [1]  The present report gives an update of the numerous and varied activities undertaken by the components of the Movement in implementing the resolution. While the Movement already carried out important activities for and with refugees and internally displaced persons, and had been doing so for years, it is undeniable that resolution 4 served as a powerful catalyst to the components to face the challenges raised by displacement, to address emerging issues together, such as migration and detention of asylum-seekers, and to work on a coordinated approach towards operational partnerships with external actors.

 Movement response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons  

Some basic figures give an indication of the extent of the activities of the components of the Movement for refugees and IDPs: the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) conducts protection and assistance programmes for persons affected by armed conflict in some 80 contexts worldwide. In every case, many of these persons – and sometimes most of them – are IDPs. In 2002 the ICRC carried out protection and assistance activities for more than 5 million IDPs world-wide. If they are in a state experiencing armed conflict, and their needs are not adequately met by other humanitarian actors, refugees are often also the beneficiaries of these ICRC activities.

In 2002 the appeal process of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (“International Federation”) raised CHF 18.5 million specifically designated for “population movement”, although many more appeals contained an element for refugees and IDPs. This is in addition to the further millions of persons assisted directly by National Societies on all continents.

A database established by the International Federation to collect information on the activities of National Societies has revealed the extent and diversity of their involvement: it is estimated that 137 out of 179 recognised National Societies work with refugees and IDPs.

 Coordination and Cooperation  

Resolution 4 called upon the ICRC and the International Federation to improve information exchange and coordination between the components of the Movement in order to maximize the potential of the Movement and to coordinate its activities so as to take full advantage of the complementary assets, mandat es and expertise of the various components.

The ICRC and the International Federation have held regular and high level consultations at the Senior Management Meetings to exchange information, coordinate activities and launch joint initiatives in this important thematic sector.

In terms of coordination and cooperation within the Movement, the ICRC, the International Federation and various National Societies have engaged in a number of initiatives to develop tools to provide practical guidance in the day to day work with refugees and IDPs.

Coordination with external actors continues to be a key element in the activities of the Movement for refugees and IDPs. The ICRC and the International Federation are constantly engaged in communication and coordination with other international actors both at headquarters and in the field to ensure complementarity of activities and to avoid duplication of humanitarian efforts.

The ICRC and the International Federation Secretariat have participated in and made statements to numerous fora, raising the profile of the Movement as a major actor in refugee and IDP issues. These fora include the UN General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights, UNHCR’s Executive Committee, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Bali inter-ministerial process on the prevention of trafficking and smuggling and the Metropolis process on migration.

In January 2002, a joint ICRC and International Federation Secretariat initiative was begun to define clearly the Movement position toward partnerships with external organizations such as UNHCR ensuring that the components’ activities for refugees and IDPs are carried out in respect of the Fundamental Principles and Movement policies when acting as implementing partners for external humanitarian actors such as UNHCR. A consultation process was launched, whereby all components of the Movement were solicited for their response to a questionnaire on the subject. At t he same time a document entitled Minimum Elements to be included in Operational Agreements between Movement Components and their External Operational Partners was drafted and piloted as a guide to the formulation of such agreements in several operational contexts.

In 2001 the Council of Delegates adopted a wide-ranging resolution on Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. 2001 Council of Delegates, Resolution 4, “Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”. [2] The present report gives an update of the numerous and varied activities undertaken by the components of the Movement in implementing the resolution. While the Movement already carried out important activities for and with refugees and internally displaced persons, and had been doing so for years, it is undeniable that resolution 4 served as a powerful catalyst to the components to face the challenges raised by displacement, to address emerging issues together, such as migration and detention of asylum-seekers, and to work on a coordinated approach towards operational partnerships with external actors. The present report follows the order of resolution 4 and groups the activities in the following four headings: Movement response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons; coordination and cooperation within the Movement; coordination and cooperation with other humanitarian actors; and development of Movement strategy.  
 
 

A. Movement response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons 
 

Resolution 4 encouraged the components of the Movement to adopt a global approach in responding to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons (“IDPs”). All stages of displacement should be addressed, from prevention to return, and the activities of the components should strive to meet the needs not only of refugees and IDPs, but also of host and local populations, which may often be in equal or even greater need. Indeed, it is this approach, based on vulnerability, in keeping with the Fundamental Principle of impartiality, which sets the Movement’s response apart from that of many external actors that focus on predefined categories of persons.

Some basic figures will give an indication of the extent of the activities of the components of the Movement for refugees and IDPs: the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) conducts protection and assistance programmes for persons affected by armed conflict in some 80 contexts worldwide. In every case, many of these persons – and sometimes most of them – are IDPs. In 2002 the ICRC carried out protection and assistance activities for more than 5 million IDPs world-wide. If they are in a state experiencing armed conflict, and their needs are not adequately met by other humanitarian actors, refugees are often also the beneficiaries of these ICRC activities.

In 2002 the appeal process of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (“International Federation”) raised CHF 18.5 million specifically designated for “population movement”, although many more appeals contained an element for refugees and IDPs. This is in addition to the further millions of persons assisted directly by National Societies on all continents.

A database established by the International Federation to collect information on the activities of National Societies has revealed the extent and diversity of their involvement: It is estimated that 137 out of 179 recognised National Societies work with r efugees and IDPs.

Recognising that displacement emergencies, like other disasters, are dynamic and that National Societies have a role to play in all phases, but that what might be an appropriate intervention at the outset may change with the passage of time, National Societies and the International Federation have identified the following five phases of displacement to assist them in planning interventions appropriate to the relevant phase of the disaster:

  • early warning/prevention/preparedness;

  • first emergency;

  • care and maintenance;

  • solutions (return; local settlement; resettlement to a third country);

  • integration.

A few examples of activities by the components of the Movement illustrate the ways a holistic approach has been adopted:

  • in Colombia, where it has been active since 1980, the ICRC provided some 114,000 IDPs with emergency assistance in 2001. In 2002 the figure rose to around 180,000. It also maintained its technical support for the government's programme to assist IDPs. There is a clear link between the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection activities conducted around the country by ICRC delegates, who take note of violations of international humanitarian law which result, very often, in displacement. Numerous representations have been made to the parties to the conflict in an attempt to convince them of the need for greater compliance with international humanitarian law to prevent displacement.

Post-emergency aid is channeled through activities such as " quick-impact projects " which the ICRC has established in cooperation with local authorities and communities. The initiatives aim to help IDPs, returnees and host communities during the critical period of transition between e mergency assistance and the IDPs'rehabilitation and reintegration into community life. Quick-impact projects have focused on repairs to small-scale infrastructure, such as community centres, schools, bridges and water-supply systems, and on income-generating projects in farming and fishing. Since they were launched in June 1999, some 94 projects have been implemented, benefiting over 300,000 people.

  • Sudan reportedly has the largest number of IDPs in the world. The humanitarian situation of the IDPs is of concern. The conditions of the IDPs in settlements remain poor, with regular outbreaks of disease, chronic food insecurity and limited access to safe drinking water. Similar problems exist for those IDPs who are not in settlements.

As elsewhere in the world, during such troubled times, much added responsibility has fallen on women, and programmes need to specifically identify ways of assisting them to cope with their added burdens.

With such a large and long-term IDP problem in the country, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, with the support of the International Federation, the ICRC and some National Societies working internationally, has carried out important operations for the displaced, with particular emphasis being given to women-headed households. In 2003, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society will intensify assistance to IDPs in the camps outside Khartoum, Kassala and Kosti (White Nile), mainly in the fields of health care, safe water and shelter, with the aim of improving the living conditions of IDPs, especially among women-headed families, protecting humanitarian values and supporting endeavors to finding durable solutions.

The ICRC works for IDPs, as well as for the resident population, throughout the country, providing material assistance for primary health care centres, carrying out surgery and orthopaedic care, ensuring access to water and sanitation, and re-establishing family links.

For example , in the first six months of 2003 over 180,000 per month have received treatment at the 13 primary health care centres supported by the ICRC. Surgical activities are performed principally at Lokichokio Lopiding, an independent ICRC-run hospital in southern Sudan. In addition to providing care to the local population and IDPs, this is also relied upon by the population of northern Kenya. The ICRC also supports government-run hospital by the provision of expatriate hospital staff, funs, equipment, supplies, and nurse training-courses.

By repairing hand pumps, rehabilitating PHC structures, structuring local water committees and promoting the hygiene, the ICRC has been able provide access to safe drinking water to some 300,000 people.

  • Around 3,000 people have been killed or injured by mines and unexploded ordnance (“UXO”) in Angola since 1998. Despite ongoing clearance efforts, it is expected that these dangerous devices will nevertheless continue to cause problems for years to come. A ceasefire agreement was signed a year ago, ending more than a quarter century of armed conflict. Some 440,000 Angolan refugees living in neighbouring Zambia, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and large numbers of IDPs are now returning home, many to areas that have not yet been cleared of mines and UXO.

With the support of the ICRC, in 2003 the Angolan Red Cross Society launched an awareness-raising programme aimed at reducing casualties caused by mines and UXO in two of Angola's most affected provinces.

Angolan Red Cross volunteers who received adequate training returned to their communities, where they will help the local population find solutions to the problems posed by the mines and UXO.

Finally, specific mention must be made of the Movement’s activities to maintain and restore family links in situations of conflict and violence and the ensuring displacement. The ICRC, through its Central Traci ng Agency, and the invaluable network of National Societies’ Tracing Services, has been particularly active for the most vulnerable, such as separated and unaccompanied children, single women with children, the elderly and the wounded.

 

  B. Coordination and Cooperation within the Movement 
 

Resolution 4 called upon the ICRC and the International Federation to improve information exchange and coordination between the components of the Movement in order to maximize the potential of the Movement and to coordinate its activities so as to take full advantage of the complementary assets, mandates and expertise of the various components.

The ICRC and the International Federation have held regular and high level consultations at the Senior Management Meetings to exchange information, coordinate activities and launch joint initiatives in this important thematic sector.

In terms of coordination and cooperation within the Movement, the ICRC, the International Federation and various National Societies have engaged in a number of initiatives to develop tools to provide practical guidance in the day to day work with refugees and IDPs. These include:

  • support for the establishment and operation of the Reach Out Project, an interagency refugee protection training project supported by National Societies, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (“UNHCR”), non-governmental organisations as well as the ICRC and the International Federation. The project produces training materials and holds workshops for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations working wi th refugees. The components of the Movement developed a training module presenting the Movement and case studies highlighting the issues raised by working for refugees with external actors in respect of the Fundamental Principles. Representatives of the three types of components have participated in Reach Out workshops and facilitated this module worldwide [3] ;
  • updating and expanding the 1991 League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Handbook Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers to reflect the new challenges and realities raised by working with refugees, IDPs and migrants;

  • bringing together National Societies which are providing services to detained asylum seekers and migrants in order to share experiences and lessons learned in this expanding area of work.

The International Federation has produced a number of specialist tools for working with moving and displaced people. These include training modules on protection of vulnerable people, and the abovementioned Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Module for inclusion in refugee-related trainings to an external audience. The Secretariat has also published Points of View on population movement in general, trafficking and smuggling and detention of migrants and asylum seekers. [4]  The International Federation supported numerous National Society initiatives and networks, PERCO, the Platform for European Co-operation on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants, being an excellent example. [5] Since its establishment in 1997, PERCO has produced guidelines on reception of asylum seekers, family reunification, diversity and r eturn. It has also undertaken transnational programming and organised training sessions and conferences. For example, in October 2003 the Hellenic and Italian Red Cross Societies will host a PERCO conference on the EU Directive on Minimum Reception Standards for Asylum Seekers.

The International Federation also carried out a survey of National Society activities in favour of refugees, IDPs and other persons on the move in the European region (52 National Societies). The results were published at the European Regional Conference held in Berlin in April 2002. This survey formed the basis of an updated and interactive database on the International Federation website. The database has been extended to include National Societies of the Middle East, Pacific and Asia regions (48 National Societies) and will be extended next year to cover the Americas.

The aim of this database is to identify the needs and vulnerabilities of people affected by displacement; to provide feedback to the Secretariat and the ICRC in order to develop a dynamic process to improve the effectiveness of the Geneva-based institutions in the region; to improve coordination, cooperation and communication between and within National Societies, the Secretariat and the ICRC and to share information, experiences and best practices.

 

C. Coordination and cooperation with other humanitarian actors 
 

Coordination with external actors continues to be a key element in the activities of the Movement for refugees and IDPs. The ICRC and the International Federation are constantly engaged in communication and coordination with other international actors both at headquarters and in the field to ensure complementarity of activities and to avoid duplication of humanitarian efforts.

They have continued to make an effective con tribution to the international debate on the issue of IDPs. As “Standing Invitees” of the Senior Inter-Agency Network on IDPs, the ICRC and the International Federation have introduced the international humanitarian law perspective into the debate and ensured that the group's recommendations benefited from the operational experience of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The ICRC and the International Federation have also participated in meetings of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ IDP Unit, where they are also'Standing Invitees'. The importance of maintaining coordination at the field-level has also been regularly emphasised.

In the past two years the ICRC has continued to hold high-level meetings and regular consultations with UNHCR. One recent result of this coordination mechanism is the Joint Note on the Interaction between the ICRC and UNHCR in the Context of the Iraq Crisis that was adopted in March 2003.

The ICRC has also actively participated in the elaboration of UNHCR's Agenda for Protection and in drafting Executive Committee conclusion No. 94 on separation of armed elements in mixed refugee flows. [6]  

In 2002 the International Federation concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme with refugees and IDPs as its principal subject-matter. The International Federation also entered into an agreement with UNHCR in March 2003 in connection with the conflict in Iraq addressing operational cooperation between UNHCR, the International Federation and individual Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the states neighbouring Iraq. Fortunately the need for such assistance did not materialise.

The ICRC and the International Federation Secretariat have participated in and made statement s to numerous fora, raising the profile of the Movement as a major actor in refugee and IDP issues. These fora include the UN General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights, UNHCR’s Executive Committee, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Bali inter-ministerial process on the prevention of trafficking and smuggling and the Metropolis process on migration.

In the context of relations with external actors resolution 4 addressed an issue which has, in the past, given rise to operational challenges on the ground: how to ensure that the components’ activities for refugees and IDPs are carried out in respect of the Fundamental Principles and Movement policies when acting as implementing partners for external humanitarian actors like UNHCR.

In addition to reminding National Societies of their obligation to inform the International Federation and the ICRC of any negotiations likely to lead to a formal agreement between them and any external organisation – a reminder which, to date, remains largely unheeded - the resolution also requested the ICRC and the International Federation jointly to initiate consultations with UNHCR with a view to clarifying the terms upon which the components of the Movement engage in cooperation with UNHCR.

In January 2002, a joint ICRC and International Federation Secretariat initiative was begun to define clearly the Movement position toward partnerships with external organizations such as UNHCR. A consultation process was launched, whereby all components of the Movement were solicited for their response to a questionnaire on the subject. At the same time a document entitled Minimum Elements to be included in Operational Agreements between Movement Components and their External Operational Partners was drafted and piloted as a guide to the formulation of such agreements in several operational contexts.

Based upon the responses to the questionnaire, the Minimum Ele ments were revised for comment from all National Societies which had signed an agreement with UNHCR in 2001 and 2002. Additionally, tripartite discussions took place between the ICRC, the International Federation Secretariat and UNHCR in order to ensure that the standard texts of future UNHCR agreements with the components of the Movement will take into account the content of the Minimum Elements and that they are subsequently included in all formalised partnerships.

The practical results of this project will be thoroughly disseminated throughout the Movement and, it is hoped, UNHCR. Appropriate monitoring mechanisms will be established to verify these new agreements and supporting guidelines are being adhered to and that they help to avoid difficulties encountered in past partnerships.

 

D. Development of a Movement strategy 
 

Finally, resolution 4 called upon the ICRC and the International Federation to further develop proposals for Movement strategy on refugees and IDPs and further called upon the International Federation, in consultation with National Societies, to develop proposals for a plan of action on other aspects of population movement, notably, migration.

With regard to a Movement strategy, the emphasis in the past two years has been intentionally placed upon developing the practical tools set out in the preceding sections to provide concrete assistance, rather than in elaborating more theoretical constructs, as it was felt that this would be the more useful contribution.

With regard to the call to develop proposals for a plan of action as regards, inter alia, migration, the theme of migration was a principal agenda item at both the European and Asia/Pacific/Middle East Regional Conferences of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as being a cro sscutting theme at the Americas Regional Conference. These conferences produced important debate and statements expressing the concern of National Societies as well as plans of action to address the question of migration and associated discrimination and xenophobia and their commitment to what is seen as a rapidly increasing problem for the 21st century. The issue will be a cross-cutting theme at the forthcoming International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

 

Resolution: 
 Movement action in favour of refugees and internally displaced persons and minimum elements to be included in operational agreements between movement components and their external operational partners  

The Council of Delegates,

 continuing to express its deep concern about the need to improve protection and assistance to the tens of millions of persons who have been forcibly uprooted and displaced by armed conflict, violations of international humanitarian law and human rights as well as natural or other human-induced disasters; and about people who have migrated to avoid untenable circumstances and find themselves in a situation of vulnerability in their new country of residence; noting the profound vulnerability that often accompanies the return of refugees and internally displaced persons ( " IDPs " ) to their places of origin;

 recalling and reaffirming the resolutions on this topic adopted by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Resolution XXI, Manila 1981; Resolution XVII, Geneva 1986, Resolution 4A, Geneva 1995 and Goal 2.3 of the Plan of Action of the 2 7th International Conference, Geneva 1999) as well as the resolutions adopted by the Council of Delegates (Resolution 9, Budapest 1991, Resolution 7, Birmingham 1993 and Resolution 4, Geneva 2001);

 recalling that resolution 4 of the 2001 Council of Delegates inter alia requested the components of the Movement to ensure that their activities for refugees, IDPs and migrants are carried out in respect of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement and existing policy at all times, particularly when they are acting as implementing partners for other humanitarian actors;

 welcoming the document prepared by the ICRC and the International Federation entitled “Report on the Implementation of Resolution 4 of the 2001 Council of Delegates, “Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”;

 commending the components of the Movement for their valuable contributions to improving the response to the plight of refugees, IDPs and migrants;

 1. calls upon the components of the Movement to continue to pursue and develop their activities for refugees, IDPs and migrants, in accordance with their respective mandates and in respect of the Fundamental Principles, striving always to adopt a global approach addressing all stages of displacement – from prevention through displacement to return, resettlement and re-intergration - as well as the needs of resident populations in accordance with the Principle of Impartiality;

 2. recalls the obligation of National Societies to inform the International Federation Secretariat and/or the ICRC of any negotiations likely to lead to a formal agreement with any United Nations agency or other international organisation; and reminds National Societies that the International Federation and/or the ICRC must concur with the terms of any such agreement;

 3. welcomes the document entitled “Minimum Elements to be Included in Operational Agreements between Movement Components and their External Operational Partners” attached hereto and calls upon all components of the Movement to comply with these Minimum Elements when formulating operational partnerships with all external organizations and/or agencies, particularly, but not exclusively, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”).

 

Annex: 
 Minimum elements to be included in operational agreements between movement components and their external operational partners  

The following elements should be referred to when negotiating or reviewing operational agreements between Movement components (National Societies, the International Federation Secretariat and ICRC) and external organizations (United Nations Agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international and national non-governmental organizations) in order to ensure any such agreement reflects coherence with Movement Fundamental Principles, policy and practice and complementarity among the components of the Movement.

Movement components are advised to consult with and notify other Movement components prior to the signature of any operational agreements with external partners. According to the International Conference 1981, Manila, National Societies are obliged to consult ICRC and the Federation Secretariat in advance of signing any agreement with UNHCR.

 Substantive Content  

 1. Adherence to Movement Principles and Policies  

National Societies and other Movement components must be able at all times to act in adherence to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement , particularly those of independence, neutrality and impartiality. In addition, the issue of serving only the needs of the Partner's targeted population (i.e. refugees in most cases) and not balancing this with serving the needs of others in the surrounding vicinity who may be facing similar hardship (adhering to Impartiality principle) needs to be monitored. Serving only specific beneficiary groups could result in the National Society not being able to fulfill its duty to assist all those affected without distinction, which in turn could result in a negative image for the National Society. A holistic approach should be adopted, which takes into account both the needs of the refugees and/or IDPs and those of the local population, which may be experiencing even harsher living conditions than the refugees themselves.

National Societies and other Movement components must also adhere to and respect at all times, the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the Agreement on the Organisation of the International Activities of the Components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Seville Agreement) as well as the Principles and Rules for Red Cross and Red Crescent Disaster Relief and the Code of Conduct.  

The necessity for the National So ciety and other Movement components to adhere to Movement policies, such as the policy on the Regulations on the use of the Emblem of the Red Cross or Red Crescent by National Societies  and the policy related to the armed protection of humanitarian aid should be clearly described and followed at all times.

Of paramount importance is the absolute imperative for Federation Secretariat, National Society and ICRC personnel to adhere to the principles expressed in the'IASC Policy Statement on Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Humanitarian Crisis', which has been signed by both the Federation Secretariat on behalf of its membership, and by the ICRC.

If at any time, the ability to act in coherence with the above is compromised, National Societies or other Movement components must have the immediate reflex and ability to suspend or terminate the Agreement with the external Partner (see section 10).

 2. Identity  

The Agreement must reflect that the National Society or other Movement component will at all times clearly display its own individual identity and be clearly associated to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It will not assume the identity of the Partner agency through the displaying of double logos or emblems on equipment or through the adoption of vehicle licenses. Its identity must not be compromised at any time while conducting its responsibilities under said agreement. The Regulations on the Use of the Emblem will be followed at all times. The protective emblem will only be utilized in conformity to regulations.

 General Administrative and Management Content  

 3. Define Partners clearly and correctly  

In the title and introductory paragraph of the Agreement, use the legal/official name of the National Society or other Movement component and the organization involved. These names may be followed in parenthesis by the abbreviated name which then should be used throughout the Agreement.

 4. General Situation Background and Purpose of the Agreement  

The context and situation that is leading to this Agreement should be clearly described.

 5. Stated Goal (or outcomes) and Objectives  

The Agreement must state the overall goal or outcomes to be achieved through the working relationship and the objectives needed to be accomplished in order to achieve this goal.

 Beneficiary determination  

In all operational partnerships, the external Partner must respect the need for the Red Cross/Red Crescent Partner to adhere to the requirement to meet the needs of all persons needing assistance and protection. For example, this may include persons not explicitly considered'convention refugees'but rather persons who may be even more vulnerable due to the absence of legal status. In order to prevent tensions from mounting in the geographical area, vulnerable persons in the surrounding community may also be assisted.

For this reason, it is advisable for the Red Cross/Red Crescent component to be actively involved in the assessment of needs, which in turn, determines the beneficiary population.

 Continuum of Support  

Care should be taken when determining the goal, to ensur e the project is not overly restricted to one period of time in the beneficiary's experience, but rather linked to longer term needs leading to durable solutions such as societal integration, medical needs, family reunification, repatriation and legal guidance.  

 6. Delineation of Roles and Responsibilities of each Partner to the Agreement  

The primary roles and responsibilities of each Partner must be stated clearly, clarifying what they can and cannot expect from each other. Within these roles, the issue of accountability for resources and the achievement of specific objectives must be detailed. Responsibilities for the following should be clearly articulated:

  • assessment of needs,

  • determination of beneficiaries,

  • planning, formulation of project objectives,

  • implementation, with details of specific roles and responsibilities outlined,

  • protection and advocacy,

  • financial management including internal and external auditing of accounts,

  • financial and narrative reporting as well as monitoring and evaluation should be described clearly,

  • monitoring and evaluation.

Additionally, of importance, is the clear establishment of who is responsible for the security of the staff and volunteers while fulfilling their responsibilities.

    

 7. Resource Contributions  

The financial, material and human resource contributions to be made by each Partner in order to fulfill their respective commitments in the Agreement should be outlined. Care must be taken by both insti tutions involved in the partnership, to ensure that the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement Partner's capacity is not diminished or overwhelmed, but rather is enhanced.

To avoid the common unfortunate situation where a National Society or other Movement component is actually in financial arrears as a result of such Agreements due to overhead costs not remunerated by the Partner organisation, attention should be given to ensuring adequate financial coverage. Such a situation could be prevented through a procedure of advancement of funds and rigorous and regular quarterly project review meetings (see next section).  

 8. Description of Project Coordination and Management Mechanism  

A description of how the overall project will be coordinated and managed between the two Partners should be outlined clearly in the agreement.

Focal Points: Each party will appoint a focal point to serve as the primary liaison between the Parties, to ensure the successful fulfillment of activities.

Coordination Meetings: Meetings will be organized as required and will involve other concerned parties if warranted. Formal quarterly project review meetings will occur which will review the implementation plan, reporting and financial management to ensure the agreement is being implemented as planned. The outcomes of these meetings will be utilized to suggest any project revisions and to guide decisions regarding project revision and/or including prolongation.

 9. Agreement Provisions  

 9.1. Commencement, Termination and Project Finalization  

The exact date that the Agreement comes into effect must be stated as we ll as when the active project implementation is to be terminated. Additionally, the date of the project finalization should be stated, at which time the completion of all required reporting, hand over of equipment and materials as necessary, should be completed.

 9.2 Review, Revision, Prolongation  

Through the establishment of regular joint monitoring, the review and possible revision or prolongation of certain Agreement elements will be mutually decided. These decisions will be reflected in written and signed addendums to the original Agreement.

Three months prior to the project termination date, as part of the quarterly Project Coordination meetings, decisions will be taken regarding the need to prolong the contract or to adhere to the original project end date.

 9.3 Suspension or Disengagement Clause  

9.3.1 In the event of circumstances beyond the control of the Partners

The Partners have the right to immediately suspend or cancel the Agreement in the event of circumstances beyond their control such as a major change in the conditions or environment.

Particularly, should there be a change from a situation of peace to one of internal tension, disturbances and/or armed conflict, the National Society or other Movement component must have the possibility to withdraw from the Agreement immediately. If the ability of the National Society or other Movement component to adhere to the Fundamental Principles, or Movement policy or procedures is compromised, it must not hesitate to withdraw from the Agreement immediately. This can take the form of a temporary suspension of the contract until an identified period of time has passed or a change of circumstance has occurred, following which, upon consultation with and agreement of other Movement component s, the Agreement can be resumed. Alternatively, a complete disengagement and termination of contract can occur.

Prior to this clause being invoked, consultation will take place between the Partners. The suspension or termination will take place effective immediately or within one month following the consultation. During this time, all possible attempts will be made by both Partners to ensure the needs of the beneficiaries continue to be met by other means.

 10. Non-adherence to Agreement Clauses  

Should there be a disagreement that cannot be resolved regarding the implementation of the Agreement or the adherence to certain clauses, a consultation meeting will take place between the Partners. Should it be decided, despite invoking the Dispute Settlement clause, to dissolve the partnership as a last resort, it will be done within a minimum of sixty days, maximum of ninety days time frame. During this time, all attempts possible will be made by both partners to ensure the needs of the beneficiaries continue to be met by other means.

Any of the Partners may withdraw from the Agreement with sixty days written notice.

 11. Signatures of Authorised Representatives  

Before the Agreement is signed, the National Society or other Movement component is obliged (Resolution 4, Council of Delegates 2001) to inform the other Movement components of the negotiation that is leading to a formal Agreement between them and any agency of the United Nations or any other international organisation. The International Federation and/or the ICRC must concur with the terms contained in an Agreement with the National Society in order to ensure coherence and complementarity.

Copies of an Agreement with a National Society should be sent by the National Soci ety to the International Federation and the ICRC for their information. Copies of Agreements signed by other Movement components should in turn be provided by them to the other components as well.

Once this has been done, the Agreement needs to be signed by a duly authorised representative of each Partner to signify agreement. Under the signature the name of the signatory and his/her designation within his/her respective organization must be clearly stated. Such authorization may depend upon the respective constitution or statutes, or internal regulations of the National Society. Unless there is a specific local provision to the contrary, the person to sign on behalf of a National Society will most likely be its Secretary General.

    

 12. Mechanism for Dispute Settlement  

Regardless of the nature of the relationship between the Partners at the time of the agreement, differences or unforeseen problems may arise once the project is underway, or the situation may change making it difficult for one of the parties to uphold their commitments. It is therefore important that the Partners agree in advance on a method to resolve issues as they arise. These procedures should be detailed in the agreement.

Settlement of disputes should begin at the country level and be referred if necessary to the Regional level, and then the International headquarters level. At any time, appropriate third party intervention could be sought to aid in resolution as appropriate, including consultation with other Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement components.

 Reference Documents:  

  • Regulations on the Use of the Emblem

  • Policy related to the armed protection of humanitarian aid

  • Fundamental Principles of Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement

  • Seville Agreement

  • Code of Conduct

  • IASC Statement and Plan of Action for Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Humanitarian Crisis

  • Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

  • Principles and Rules for Red Cross and Red Crescent Disaster Relief

  • CoD Resolution 1999 and background papers for'Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

  • Agenda for Humanitarian Action, 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 2 to 6 December 2003

 
  Notes 
    1. 2001 Council of Delegates, Resolution 4, “Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”.
  2. 2001 Council of Delegates, Resolution 4, “Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”.
  3. Further information on the Reach Out Project is available at www.reachout.ch.
  4. Points of View are basic statements of a Federation position on a particular humanitarian issue. They are designed to assist Federation and National Society leaders, volunteers and staff in advocating a clear and consistent position. Their basic messages and bullet points should be complemented, if necessary, by adding the latest factual information and adapted to the national/regional context in which they are used. Each Point of View is based on Federation policy or a specific decision of governance.
  5. PERCO comprises 18 National Societies from EU, EFTA, EU Accession and Candidate States and Stability Pact Association States.
  6. EXCOM Conclusion on the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum, No. 94 (LIII), 8 October 2002.
 

 CD 2003 – 8.1/1  

 Original: English