Geneva, 11 October 2018 – The Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has voted to suspend the membership of the Hellenic Red Cross. The suspension of membership will come into force on 1 January 2019 if Hellenic Red Cross is unable to address concerns related to its governance.

IFRC has been asked to develop a transition plan over the next three months to ensure that services to vulnerable communities do not suffer.

The decision follows the non-completion of the long standing recovery plan over the past 10 years. Recent critical steps were promised by Hellenic Red Cross and accepted by IFRC in October 2017 and they must be urgently addressed:

  • Complete revision of the Hellenic Red Cross’ 1965 Statutes
  • A campaign toopen upand expand the Red Cross’s membership base
  • The convocation of a General Assembly, before 15 October 2018, to hold elections for its Board in accordance with its new statutes.

In announcing the suspension, Francesco Rocca, IFRC President, said:

This was not a decision taken lightly. However, after many supportive initiatives over the past 10 years, we must ensure that the Hellenic Red Cross governance  takes the necessary steps to rebuild the National Society, in accordance with the standards of our Movement.

“Let me stress: IFRC’s commitment to the people of Greece, including those who rely on the Red Cross for support, remains absolute. IFRC will work to ensure that this decision does not compromise Red Cross support to vulnerable communities.

I reiterate my unwavering commitment to continue to accompany and support the brave Hellenic Red Cross volunteers in their humanitarian journey said Mr Rocca.

This decision means that, unless progress is made, on 1 January 2019 Hellenic Red Cross will lose its rights as a member of IFRC, including its right to be represented at and participate in different IFRC bodies, including the General Assembly.

IFRC remains committed to supporting the renewal of an effective, vibrant and viable Hellenic Red Cross. IFRC will continue monitoring progress made by Hellenic Red Cross against the agreed plan of action, and will continue to work closely with Greek authorities, building on the established excellent collaboration in this regard.

IFRC also remains committed to the volunteers and staff of the Hellenic Red Cross. IFRC encourages Hellenic Red Cross volunteers and members to remain engaged in the renewal of their National Society.

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Media contacts

In Athens: Georgia Trismpioti, +30 697 180 90 31, georgia.trismpioti@ifrc.org

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

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