Geneva, 31 October 2017 – The leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will gather next week in Antalya, Turkey, for a series of meetings that will shape the future of the world’s largest humanitarian movement.

The Statutory Meetings of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will bring together all 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Statutory Meetings run from 6-11 November and comprise two separate meetings:

  • The IFRC General Assembly – the highest decision-making body of the 190-member Federation
  • The Council of Delegates – the body that also involves ICRC and that meets to discuss matters that concern the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a whole.

You can find the full programme here.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

Election of new IFRC President

The IFRC General Assembly’s first task will be to elect a new IFRC President. The new President’s leadership and vision will be critical to ensuring that IFRC and National Societies can grow their support to the most vulnerable and isolated around the world.

The General Assembly will also elect Vice Presidents and members of the IFRC Governing Board.

Migration – prioritizing safety and assistance

More people are forcibly displaced than at any point since the end of the Second World War. Around the world, millions of people are fleeing persecution, armed conflict, violence and disasters in search of safety, and dignity. The Red Cross and Red Crescent is present at all points of these journeys, assisting and protecting people in need.

Next year, UN member states will adopt new Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees. Building on the resolution of the 2011 Movement gathering, the Council of Delegates will deliver a message to States, urging them to prioritize the safety of all migrants regardless of status, and to ensure their access to critical humanitarian services.

Nuclear weapons – working towards their elimination

The adoption and ratification earlier this year of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was a landmark achievement. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was a vocal advocate throughout these negotiations, urging States to seize this historic opportunity to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons based on existing commitments and international obligations.

However, the task is not yet done. The Council of Delegates will consider new steps to promote adherence to, and full implementation of, the new Treaty by all States.

Health – addressing mental health and psychosocial needs

Armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, including those arising as a result of migration, can have considerable mental health and psychosocial consequences for people affected. While the humanitarian impact of these unmet needs is extensive – potentially affecting the society as a whole – mental health and psychosocial support are often not treated as priorities in humanitarian settings. The Council of Delegates will look at how the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can better respond to this “hidden suffering”.

Other issues

The meetings will explore a range of other humanitarian issues, including the need to involve affected people in relief and recovery efforts; the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and; the looming threat of epidemics and pandemics.

In addition, and for the first time, the Meetings will dedicate one full day to the exploration of how current trends may impact humanitarian action in the future. The RC2 Forum will explore issues including ageing populations, decreasing trust in institutions, new technologies, new forms of violence, big data, and climate change.

KEY CONTACTS:

IFRC: Matthew Cochrane, Manager, Media and Advocacy/Spokesperson, +41 79 251 80 39, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org, @mahatmat

ICRC: Elodie Schindler, Regional Communications Manager & Spokesperson – Europe and Central Asia, +41 79 536 92 48, eschindler@icrc.org, @ESchindlerICRC

MEDIA FACILITIES DURING THE MEETINGS:

The Statutory Meetings will take place at the Kaya Palazzo Convention Centre in Antalya, Turkey.

For journalists interested in attending the Statutory Meetings, please email lea.salwan@ifrc.org to register.

An opening press conference will be held at the conference venue at 13:00 on 5 November. Please contact matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org for more information.

The new IFRC President-elect will be announced on 6 November via Twitter (@federation) and by IFRC press release. A press conference with the President-elect will be held following the election. Information on other media opportunities will be shared following the election.

For all other enquiries, including for interviews on pressing humanitarian issues with Red Cross and Red Crescent officials, contact matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org and eschindler@icrc.org.

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