Mr Tadateru Konoé, President of the IFRC, met with volunteers and staff of the Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan this week and inspired them to use their leadership and skills to promote a culture of peace and solidarity in the region and across the world.

This was the first visit of a serving IFRC President to Uzbekistan since the formation of the National Society in 1925, and Mr Konoé took the opportunity to visit Tashkent and Samarkand as well as hold high-level meetings with Government ministers and representatives.

On his visit to the Tashkent headquarters of the Red Crescent on Thursday, 28 June, Mr Konoé was given an overview of the National Society’s humanitarian services across the country, and enjoyed an interactive discussion with volunteers and staff.

President Konoé told the group that volunteering is the best way to create more resilient communities in Uzbekistan. “Dedicated volunteers like you represent, demonstrate and promote the value of the entire International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,” he said. “The level of your motivation, commitment and engagement informs our collective power of humanity at home and globally.”

The President then travelled to the ancient city of Samarkand, accompanied by the National Society’s President, Prof. Khamid Yakubovich Karimov, and met volunteers and staff there.

Noting the city’s long history as a trade hub and cultural melting pot, and praising its population for embracing diversity and working together to overcome differences, President Konoé encouraged Samarkand volunteers to continue leading by example in promoting a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace as they work to build resilience.

“We can achieve our common goals only through deepening our tradition of togetherness through joint action, accountability and partnership,” he said. “Together we must continuously reiterate our commitment to support each other in accompanying those most in need to respond to their needs and preserve their human dignity.”

During his visit, Mr Konoé also met with Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Mrs. Tanzila Narbayeva and other Government ministers to discuss the humanitarian work of the Red Crescent in disaster management, health, social support and other areas, and how best to support its continued growth and participation.

Deputy Prime Minister Narbayeva praised the society for its efficiency and strength, noting that its strong membership structure allows many hundreds of thousands of members and volunteers to be active in branches across eight regions.

First Deputy Minister of Health Mr Yusupaliyev Bahodir and Minister of Emergencies Mr Jurayev Rustam also spoke of their understanding of and support for the Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan’s work as an independent humanitarian auxiliary to the Government, and the need to safeguard this unique role to build stronger, more resilient communities across the country.