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Policy on ICRC Cooperation with National Societies

30-09-2003 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 851



According to the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the primary role and mandate of National Societies is to carry out humanitarian activities in their own countries. In addition, within the scope of their resources, they bring aid internationally to victims of various types of emergencies; they do so through the National Society of the country concerned, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. They also contribute to the development of other National Societies which require such assistance, in order to strengthen the Movement as a whole. International activities of the components of the Movement are organized in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, the Movement’s Statutes and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Movement’s statutory bodies, in particular the Agreement on the Organization of the International Activities of the Components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (“Seville Agreement”, 1997) and the Strategy for the Movement (adopted by the Council of Delegates in 2001).

The ICRC works together with National Societies in both their domestic and international activities, particularly in countries suffering the effects of or prone to conflict or internal strife, but also in times of peace in matters falling under its responsibility according to the Geneva Conventions, the Movement’s Statutes and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Movement.

The ICRC and National Societies in their own cou ntries often join forces in activities that they choose to implement together for the benefit of persons affected by conflict or internal strife. In each such operation, various other components of the Movement frequently offer substantial support, which can range from donations of operational resources and expertise to activities on the ground together with the ICRC and/or the host National Society.

This introduction is intended to highlight the purpose of ICRC cooperation within the Movement, the premises on which it should be developed, and the framework for implementing the cooperation policy.


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