The International Academy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent was established in Suzhou on 31 August 2019, co-founded by the Red Cross Society of China and Soochow University.

Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Dr CHEN Zhu, President of the Red Cross Society of China, Vice-President of the IFRC and guests from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Emergency Management, the International Development Cooperation Agency and other relevant ministries and commissions, leaders of Jiangsu Province and Suzhou City, Leaders of Soochow University and the Red Cross Society of China, the executive leadership team and people from all walks of life attended the inauguration ceremony.

Chen delivered a keynote speech entitled “Building and sharing humane education to deliver wisdom and strength.” He pointed out that the establishment of the academy was a major event in the history of the Red Cross, not only for the Red Cross Society of China. The establishment of the academy would bring new impetus into the Red Cross and a platform, wisdom and solutions for the development of global humanitarian undertakings.

“We have witnessed the establishment of the International Academy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which is an invitation to the world to jointly build a community and create a better future for humanity,” Chen said. “We hope that all the people who care about the cause of human progress will join hands with us to embark on this great journey.”

Francesco Rocca also delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony applauding the academy’s establishment and accepting an invitation from the Red Cross Society of China to be the honorary president of the academy. He said the academy would contribute to meeting current and increasingly complex humanitarian demands and was a contribution of the Red Cross Society of China to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. He said the academy would become a training center for professional humanitarian workers, a research center for humanitarian theory and an international platform for humanitarian communication and cooperation.

There had been no comprehensive Red Cross Red Crescent university or academy) anywhere in the world before, and the establishment of the International Academy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent fills this gap. After years of demonstration and preparation, the Red Cross Society of China, Soochow University, and the Chinese Red Cross Foundation officially signed a cooperative start-up agreement in Beijing on 30 June 2019.

The agreement involves setting up six research centres, including the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement research center, an International Humanitarian Law centre, the Belt and Road international exchange and cooperation centre, Nightingale nursing centre, humanitarian resource mobilization and values dissemination centre, and an emergency management and disaster preparedness centre to develop and design different types of humanitarian education training and teaching courses, conduct short-term training, medium-term training and advanced training courses, and recruit master’s and doctoral students in related fields.