The new Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, elected last year at the General Assembly in Antalya in November, met for the first time in Geneva on 31 January 2018.

The meeting began with the signing the IFRC Code of Conduct for Governing Board Members.  Each Board member committed to observe the seven Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality) and agreed to abide by the IFRC’s Constitution and its Rules of Procedure.

The Code of Conduct sets standards of integrity and respect for all persons. It also stresses that Board members must abstain from all acts which could be considered as harassment, abuse, discrimination or exploitation.

Speaking after the signing event, IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “I am honoured to preside over the governance of this Federation, as we continue to strengthen its strategies, policies and practices in meeting ever greater humanitarian needs.  We will hold it, and ourselves, to the highest standards, in the service of those who need us most.  In all that we do, we will be mindful of the hundreds of millions of people whom we serve, and of the millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers worldwide who give of their time and energy to make our vision reality. This Board knows its pivotal place in overseeing the work of the world’s largest humanitarian organization.”

IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy added: “The IFRC has a proud history of almost 100 years in the service of humankind, and it enjoys the trust of millions.  We must absolutely preserve that trust with the highest standards of integrity, supporting and protecting all who work for us and everyone we serve.  Our new Board will lead by example in achieving governance excellence and high standards.  We are delighted that the new Board is indeed ‘on board’ “.