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Daily bulletin - No 4


31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 28 November to 1 December 2011

Resolutions at the 31st International Conference

The success of an International Conference is defined by the resolutions adopted. The resolutions not only embody the intense discussions and debate, they also represent key decisions taken during the conference. The 31st International Conference was concluded by the adoption of resolutions on the topics of health care in danger, migration, the implementation on the MoU between the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Magen David Adom in Israel, international disaster law, health care inequities, the four-year action plan for IHL, National Society and volunteering development, and strengthening legal protection for victims of armed conflicts.

New Standing Commission members elected

The Standing Commission is the only permanent body of the Movement where all components are represented and meet on a regular basis. Between International Conferences, it provides strategic guidance, promotes coordination among Movement partners and encourages implementation of conference resolutions. Five National Society representatives join two members from the ICRC and the IFRC. The elected commission members from National Societies are:

Massimo Barra – member of the Italian Red Cross, and member of the Standing Commission since 2007. He aims to continue strengthening the unity of the Movement in operations and through public perception.
Steve Carr – a volunteer for more than 25 years with the American Red Cross and member of their International Services Advisory Council. He aims to reinforce Movement cooperation and strengthen dialogue with governments.
Pär Stenbäck – member of the Finnish Red Cross and independent monitor of the MoU between the Palestine Red Crescent and Magen David Adom in Israel. He aims to contribute to the ongoing development of IHL and build bridges between all Movement components.
Greg Vickery – President of the Australian Red Cross and chairman of the General Assembly Committee 2013. He hopes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the next International Conference and further promote the Movement.
Mohammed Al-Hadid – President of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society and previous chair and vice-chair of the Standing Commission. He aspires to ensure that the objectives of the 31st International Conference are turned into concrete action.

Greg Vickery was elected chair of the new Standing Commission, with Steve Carr as vice chair.

Pledges commit action in the interests of humanity

Three hundred and seventy seven pledges were received at this year’s International Conference, with support from 131 National Societies, 78 governments and 8 observers. They ranged from pledges for improved  protection of women and children, to bridging the digital divide. The pledge process encourages conference members to undertake specific actions which complement the formal resolutions. Pledges also provide a way for governments to show active recognition and engagement with their National Society on a number of conference issues. “Pledges are specific and measurable actions that governments and National Societies will take,” said Corrine Nunes, who managed the pledge process.

Getting to zero: World AIDS Day

As the 31st International Conference comes to a close, the Movement is reiterating the need to remain committed to funding global HIV programmes. “We must work to ensure the gains of past decades are sustained, and intensify future efforts to stop the pandemic,” stated IFRC President Tadateru Konoé, in a side event on HIV/AIDS. National Societies including the Argentine, French, Italian and Thai Red Cross shared the tremendous progress they are making in battling the pandemic, specifically with marginalized groups such as injecting drug users. Their efforts will continue with the goal to reach zero – including zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

Web 2.0 and Health Care in Danger: How new technologies can help shape operational responses

This workshop brought together humanitarian representatives who explored the increased importance of crisis mapping and social media in crisis responses. The mapping of reported health needs, structures and responses allowing the quick identification of gaps was acknowledged. The possibility of working with a new generation of digital volunteers who can contribute to aid efforts from the comfort of their living rooms was also noted. The responsible management of information was identified as a major challenge. Speakers agreed that despite the risks, organizations must embrace these key technologies and move forward.


Practical information

Thank you for an extraordinary conference. To view the online photo gallery of the statutory meetings, visit: www.flickr.com/photos/ifrc/sets/72157628128019401/with/6435326265/