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Emblem: Following the two day consultation and preparation meeting in Geneva, 5-6 September 2000


Three hundred and sixty people representing over 100 states and more than sixty National Societies attended the 2-day meeting which achieved a broad concensus on the process to establish a third protocol regarding an additional emblem.

All delegations agreed on the need to preserve and strengthen the universality and unity of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and avoid the proliferation of emblems.

" I am particularly satisfied that the delegations worked in a constructive way, with a view to reaching a positive outcome, " said Nicolas Michel, the Swiss ambassador who presided over the meeting.

" This is a humanitarian not a political process, " he said. " The ultimate goal is to better protect the victims of armed conflict and to help protect those who come to their aid. "

Ambassador Michel, as chair of this preparatory meeting, stressed the need for intensified consultations over the next few weeks to maintain the dynamic achieved here.

The Arab group expressed its concern that the process allow enough time for ample consultation, underlining the importance that due consideration be given to the design and name of the additional emblem.

" It's an important issue, " said Ambassador Michel. " No states have rejected anything, but several want more time and we are ready to invest time. "

Other delegations, however, considered that all the tools were within reach to rapidly find a solution, satisfactory to all and enco uraged the Swiss government to maintain the existing timetable.

" This meeting is a historic event for the Movement and of utmost importance for our future work with the most vulnerable in the world, " said Christina Magnuson, special representative of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, addressing the meeting.

" Universality and unity are two of the basic principles on which we base all our humanitarian work in conflicts as well as in peace-time, " she said. " In today's global environment we may finally come to agree on an additional emblem which will create the potential of full universality -- an emblem that will not be able to be associated with any national, regional or religious meaning. "

During the closing afternoon session, the International Federation and the ICRC informed the participants on preparations for the 28th International Conference of the Movement, whose objective would be to amend the statutes of the Movement following the adoption of an additional protocol.

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