Daily bulletin, 26 November 2011

Movement working towards a nuclear weapons-free world

The adoption of the resolution proposed by the Australian, Japanese and Norwegian Red Cross National Societies entitled “Working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons" kicked off the 2011 Council of Delegates. Nearly 30 delegates took the floor to offer impassioned pleas in favour of the resolution, with only a single voice expressing concern. "What would Henry have done?" asked Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner, only to conclude that the founder of the Movement would have firmly backed the resolution. The discussions were preceded by a moving film on the nuclear tragedy that struck in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 66 years ago and by a presentation from a survivor and now medical doctor from Nagasaki.

Red Cross Red Crescent women’s network seeks to expand membership

A Red Cross Red Crescent women’s network was created earlier this year and, in a Speaker’s Corner presentation Saturday, pioneers explained the objectives of their initiative. “We are not feminists, but we seek gender equality and recognition,” said Bulgarian Red Cross Secretary General Sofia Stimenova. The network’s vision aims at gender equity, participation and access to decision-making. Swedish Red Cross Secretary General Ulrika Arehed Kagsttrom called upon more women to join and support the initiative. When asked by an audience member what men in the Red Cross Red Crescent could do to help, she replied: “Don’t just talk, but also act.”

Inspiring future generations by preserving our heritage

Movement members were asked to prioritize the safeguarding and promotion of their humanitarian heritage to inspire future generations to do humanitarian work. Using museums, exhibitions and archives were suggested as ways to make the best use and promote the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists in our Movement. Delegates were encouraged to contact the Red Cross Red Crescent Museum in Geneva to tap into their expertise if needed. The Museum will re-open in 2013 with new and exciting exhibitions following extensive renovations and an expansion currently underway. At the 2015 Council of Delegates, the Museum team will present recommendations for the continuation of this preservation and promotional work.

PRCS and MDA: Reinforcing cooperation

A further step towards complete implementation of the 2005 MoU between the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Magen David Adom in Israel was achieved after the adoption of a draft resolution outlining the way forward. The draft resolution will now be taken up during the upcoming International Conference. The independent monitor of the implementation process, Pãr Stenbãck, stressed that goodwill exists on all sides to see the implementation through. He noted that the MoU, at this moment, has yet to be fully implemented. In subsequent debate, more than 10 delegates took the floor stating their support for the draft resolution, expressing hope that it would further pave the way for smooth cooperation and continued swift humanitarian action, wherever required.

Henry Dunant medals awarded for outstanding humanitarian service

Shimelis Adugna from Ethiopia, Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg from Norway and Bosko Jakovljevic from Serbia have been awarded the Henry Dunant medal. The award is the highest distinction of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Since 1969, the award has been given every two years to acknowledge exceptional individual service and acts of great devotion to the Red Cross Red Crescent cause. The medal is a red cross embossed with the profile of the Movement’s founder, Henry Dunant, attached to a green ribbon.

A warm welcome awaits down under in 2013

“We promise you won’t be disappointed!” declared the Australian Red Cross in a video giving delegates a preview of what awaits them at the 2013 General Assembly and Council of Delegates. The National Society will host the meetings for the first time in its almost one hundred year history. To be held in Sydney between 12 and 15 November 2013, the event promises to be full of engaging discussions and vibrant entertainment. “We hope you’ll also see the work of our National Society and some of our country,” said Chairman Greg Vickery in the film. “We’re determined to make this an event to remember!”

Practical information

If there’s anything you need to know about any aspect of these meetings: from finding out where something is happening to getting additional session papers, please visit the information desk. Located on the ground floor, the information desk is staffed by volunteers ready to help you.

Don’t forget to pick up your tickets for the special side event featuring the Roppongi Men’s Chorus Club; IFRC President Konoé will be one of the singers. The event takes place at Victoria Hall on 29 November at 8.30 pm. Tickets are available at the ticket corner next to the registration desk on the ground floor.