Geneva, 29 November 2019 – The leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will gather next week at the Centre International de Conferences (CICG) in Geneva, Switzerland, 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 the leadership of 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 3-12 December and comprise four separate meetings:

  • The IFRC Youth Forum will take place from 3 to 4 December to ensure the youth voice echoes throughout the Statutory meetings. This gathering is not open to the press.
  • The IFRC General Assembly – the highest decision-making body of the 190-member Federation – will take place from 5 to 7 December. This gathering is not open to the press.
  • 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 – will take place on 8 December. This gathering is not open to the press.
  • The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent – the only gathering of States convened by non-governmental actors – will take place from 9 to 12 December and is open to the press.

You can find the full programme here.

What’s on the agenda?

The climate crisis is at the top of global humanitarian challenges

During the International Conference there will be a focus on the humanitarian impacts of climate change, drawing attention to key challenges and opportunities, and identifying what can be done now to scale up joint action.

Trust in humanitarian action

Trust is the foundation of humanitarian action. Access, support and respect for the Movement’s mission depends on the trust of the people and communities it serves, of the responsible authorities and of the general public. The leaders of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement will discuss trust from the following perspectives: community engagement and accountability; integrity and compliance and principled humanitarian action.

Scaling up mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian crises

When traumas are invisible, they can be easily overlooked or deprioritized. Yet war and disaster have a devastating impact on the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of millions.

At the Conference, the Movement will call on all States to prioritize mental health and psychosocial support in situations of war and disasters, as a critical component of first wave humanitarian assistance, and as an integral part of domestic and international emergency response systems.

Pandemics

There is a high probability that the world will experience a severe outbreak that could destabilize entire societies. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will discuss ways to confront pandemics, such as early detection, preparedness, flexible funding mechanisms etc.

Humanitarian action in the digital era

How do we keep our promise to the people we serve when it comes to managing highly sensitive digital data? How do we adopt and maintain a principled approach in the digital era and ensure we “do no digital harm”? The impact of digital transformation, both in terms of the potential increase in the scale and scope of humanitarian action and related risks will be open for discussion.

International humanitarian law: facing up to the challenges of modern warfare

Are the laws of war as we know them up to the challenges posed by new technologies of war? Should we let a machine autonomously act to end a life? Key questions on the table include how to address an increase in urban warfare and its toll on civilians, how to influence behaviour to enhance respect for IHL and how IHL can protect civilians from the different risks they face depending on their gender, age and identity.

Key media opportunities

Q&A session with IFRC President about current humanitarian priorities and emergencies

Francesco Rocca, President of IFRC, will participate in a Q&A session about current humanitarian priorities and emergencies, including Syria, Venezuela, migration and the humanitarian consequences of climate change. The Q&A session will take place on 2 December at 12:30 in Press Room 1, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Speed dating event with thematic & regional experts

The ICRC and IFRC are hosting a speed dating event at ICRC’s Humanitarium, in Geneva, on 5 December, from 09:00 to 10:30. The event will bring together journalists and Red Cross Red Crescent experts on the main issues covered at the Statutory Meetings.

International Volunteers Day: Photo and interview opportunities with young volunteers and leaders from across the globe

For the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, young people are our most valuable resource and asset, as they represent more than a half of our 13,7 million active volunteers globally and are a driving force of our humanitarian assistance locally. On 4 December, 167 youth delegates from 140 National Societies will gather in Geneva for a historic Youth Commission election, where candidates will be elected by their peers, young leaders from National Societies.

Strategy 2030

IFRC’s ambitious roadmap for its local and global humanitarian action – Strategy 2030 – will place climate change and environmental crises at the top of a list of five global challenges that must be addressed in the coming decade. The Strategy will be announced on 5 December by IFRC press release.

Escape room: travel back in time

Journalists are invited to participate in an immersive experience at the CICG from 5 to 7 December. When they enter, they are in 2030 and the situation is bleak. They are given the chance to travel back in time to solve today’s global challenges and avoid a pessimistic scenario.

‘100 ideas, 100 challenges’ youth competition

The six winners of the global ‘100 years, 100 challenges’ youth competition will pitch their ideas to National Societies on 6 December from 11:15 to 12:00. From a social inclusion programme for transgender people in Pakistan to an experimental artists’ collective in Colombia to raise awareness about violence and inequality, nothing is impossible for these young people from around the globe.

COP 25 and IC 33: Two communities, two conferences, one ambition

On 10 December from 13:00 to 14:00 two high-level panel discussions – one in Geneva and one in Madrid – will host a live dialogue about climate adaptation

Humanitarian Trail

From 4 to 12 December, the general public and schools have the unique opportunity to  explore the Humanitarian Trail – an interactive visit through Geneva’s historical sites and special events that highlight the Red Cross Red Crescent journey from its origins to present and future challenges.

Immersive experience on Place des Nations

From 5 to 12 December, the exhibition Humanitarian Crises and Digital Dilemmas will offer a unique interactive experience, giving visitors the chance to see how digital technologies, from social networks to biometrics and connectivity, are transforming humanitarian crisis from the perspective of the people affected by them.

For media accreditation to the conference, please contact:

Benoît Carpentier, +41 79 213 24 13, benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org

Ann Vaessen, +41 79 405 77 50, ann.vaessen@ifrc.org

Related content
Media contacts

ICRC: Didier Revol, +41 79 235 71 93, drevol@icrc.org

IFRC: Matthew Cochrane, +41 79 251 80 39, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org

Laura Ngo-Fontaine, +41 79 570 44 18, laura.ngofontaine@ifrc.org

Ann Vaessen (French), 41 79 405 77 50, ann.vaessen@ifrc.org

Rana Cassou (Arabic), +961 71 80 2779, rana.cassou@ifrc.org

Diana Medina (Spanish), +507 6780-5395, diana.medina@ifrc.org

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