ICRC director general tells UK Red Cross conference “this is our time”

In a speech to UK fundraisers the director general of the ICRC has detailed his vision of the vital work the Red Cross Movement will be required to carry out globally over the next decade.

"In many parts of an increasingly instable world, we may be the only humanitarian actors in direct contact with the people who really need help. These people will expect us to listen to them, to understand their problems and to find solutions."

Discussing the world's huge economic, political and social challenges, a lack of trust of the 'other', a wide range of protracted conflicts and a lack of convergence between nations to foster creative solutions to global problems, Daccord stressed the relevance of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement's principles, which include its strict approach to impartiality and independence.

"The ability to have a really strong understanding of people's needs will be central. And in a 'prove it' world, where people may not believe you when you say you are a humanitarian, and where people may not believe neutrality and impartiality is even possible, we will have to show and demonstrate every day that this is what we do. Despite all the challenges, we now that this is our time".

Daccord delivered the keynote speech to the British Red Cross fundraising conference held in Essex, and thanked delegates for their dedication and hard work across the United Kingdom. The annual event brings together 230 fundraisers from across the UK.

Mark Astarita, Executive Director of fundraising at the British Red Cross said: "Yves delivered a thought-provoking talk to UK fundraisers and senior leadership colleagues from the British Red Cross.It was moving, dramatic and as ever, dynamic, making us think hard about our place in the world and how our endeavours here help make Red Cross Red Crescent work possible globally. The importance of the UK in terms of giving on the world stage should not be underestimated. For a small country we lead the way in terms of generosity and I agree with Yves that our Movement must and will continue to lead the way in responding to the needs of some of the world's most vulnerable people".

Daccord leads an organisation with around 16,000 staff and a 2017 budget of 1.6bn Swiss francs (£1.3bn):