The 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent opens
15-06-2006 News Release 06/63
The 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent will open on 20 June at the international conference centre in Geneva.
It has been called as a follow-up to the successful diplomatic conference of States in December 2005 that adopted Additional Protocol III to the Geneva Conventions creating an additional protective emblem for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, known as the " red crystal " .
The conference has three main objectives. Firstly, to change the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to take account of the existence of an additional emblem alongside the red cross and red crescent. Secondly, to adopt the name " red crystal " and thirdly to create a framework for the recognition by the ICRC and admittance by the International Federation of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
These objectives will be incorporated into a single resolution that, it is hoped, will be adopted by consensus. If the resolution goes to a vote, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting would be needed.
The proposed change in the Statutes is simple so that they refer to all the emblems recognized by the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols and not just the red cross and red crescent. This would open the way for the recognition by the ICRC of the Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA) and its admission to the International Federation.
The ICRC has already announced that it is ready to recognize both the MDA and the PRCS at the successful conclusion of the conference. The International Federation would then reconvene its General Assembly, adjourned on 19 June, to admit both societies.
Such an outcome would extend the universality of the Movement to an important area of Red Cross and Red Crescent oper ations and strengthen the operational cooperation of the two societies with each other and with their international partners in the Movement.
Before the conference considers the resolution, it will hear two reports. The first will be by the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which is responsible for organizing international conferences, on the progress made since the last meeting on emblem, recognition and membership issues. The second will be by the Swiss government, which in December 2005 agreed to monitor the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed the previous month, between the MDA and PRCS.
The proposed chairman of the conference is Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, chairman of the Standing Commission and president of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society.
The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent brings together representatives of the 183 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the International Federation and the ICRC, with representatives of the 192 States that are party to the Geneva Conventions.
For further information, or to set up interviews (ISDN lines available in Geneva), please contact:
Ian Piper, ICRC, Tel: +41 22 730 2063 or + 41 79 217 3216 (mobile)
Marie-Françoise Borel, International Federation, Tel: +41 22 730 4346 or + 41 79 217 3345
The International Federation, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.