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Editorship of the Review: Jacques Meurant retires

29-02-1996 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 310, by Cornelio Sommaruga

 Cornelio Sommaruga, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross  

At the end of 1995, the International Committee of the Red Cross bade farewell to Jacques Meurant, editor-in-chief of the International Review of the Red Cross since 1986. At the end of a career spanning more than thirty years in the service of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including ten years in charge of the Review , Mr Meurant is leaving for a well-deserved retirement.

After studying literature and political science at university and then working for some time as a teacher, Jacques Meurant joined the staff of the French Red Cross. In 1962, he was appointed to the Secretariat of the League of Red Cross Societies (now the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) in Geneva, where for many years he was Special Adviser to the Secretary General on legal and statutory matters. In 1979, he succeeded Jean Pictet as Director of the Henry Dunant Institute. Then in early 1986, following the departure of Michel Testuz, the ICRC called on Jacques Meurant to take over as editor of the International Review of the Red Cross .

It was a good choice and the Review flourished under the direction of the new editor-in-chief , first of all in terms of content: the index to the ten annual volumes prepared by Jacques Meurant testifies to the wealth of subjects covered. The Review also extended its readership by adding an Arabic-language and more recently a Russian-language edition to the existing versions in French, English, German and Spanish. While following the course set by such illustrious predecessors as Gustave Moynier and Jean-Georges Lossier, Jacques Meurant developed the Review still further, making it an effective means of communication between the various components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the governments of the States party to the Geneva Conventions, the academic world and an important consideration the volunteers who dedicate themselves to the cause of the Red Cross.

In this last issue prepared by Jacques Meurant, the Review chronicles the meetings of the Council of Delegates and the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent held in Geneva between 1 and 7 December 1995. What a happy coincidence! In summarizing the debates and publishing the resolutions passed by the 26th Conference and the Council of Delegates, he has been able, once again, to cover all the subjects which are of concern to the Movement today. And who could be better placed than he to give an overview of them?

On behalf of the Committee, I should like to extend my warmest thanks to Jacques Meurant for the valuable part he has played in promoting the ideals of the Red Cross.

Vive Valeque!