Mr Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) visited China on 25-27 October 2015, to meet with leaders of the Red Cross Society of China.
During his visit the President discussed the increasing participation by the society in global policy making and the development of international strategies for humanitarian aid. “We are looking forward to growing participation by the Red Cross Society of China in decision making on how to respond to the needs of vulnerable people,” he said, recognizing the great progress that taken place within the National Society since he first visited China in 1987.
During his meeting with President, Mr Chen Zhu, the Executive Vice President, Mme Xu Ke and Vice President Hao Linna, President Konoé congratulated the National Society for its successful 10th National Convention in May, when a strong and experienced leadership was elected.
He also expressed his appreciation for the organisation’s growing role in regional cooperation, and its strong humanitarian engagement with vulnerable communities, both domestically and internationally. Backed by its 25.04 million members and 2.1 million volunteers, the Red Cross contributes greatly to global and regional relief efforts, including IFRC emergency operations.
President Konoé attended the closing ceremony of Seminar on Disaster Response Capacity Building for Asia-Pacific Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which is held jointly by the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Red Cross Society of China. At the ceremony President Konoé spoke of the need for strong and united efforts that deliver solutions to the needs of vulnerable people and communities.
The IFRC cooperates with the National Society in many fields such as disaster risk reduction, disaster response, health promotion and community resilience, all of which help people cope with humanitarian challenges domestically and internationally. The President called for the strengthening of National Societies and the establishment of close and lasting partnerships both within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and with external partners.
During his visit to the Beijing Branch, President Konoé praised the strong contribution by society to emergency response and effective resource management systems as well as its application of cutting-edge technologies in first aid.
“IFRC will consistently support Red Cross technically and financially in realizing its future development goals. This includes technical support in building a sound and professional humanitarian service system,” President Konoé said. “We will support you in promoting Red Cross cultural communication and enhancing its abilities to mobilize social resources, promoting transparency and social credibility, strengthening legal and organizational development and management as well as many other issues.”
The visit to by the IFRC President is significant as he also represents his own National Society, The Japanese Red Cross Society. As close neighbours, the National Societies of Japan and China have cooperated closely on resolving many pressing humanitarian issues, including in the years after the Second World War before the countries had established diplomatic relations and only the Red Cross could intervene. “This is one of the great strengths of the Red Cross, no other organization is capable of playing this role,” President Konoé said.