It is my pleasure to take the floor on behalf of our Federation’s 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their 17 million volunteers.
Allow me to offer, on their behalf, my congratulations to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for organizing this important event.
We have approached the Summit collectively as a Movement, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross, and I am pleased to share that we have come forward with a number of joint pledges and calls to action. I will mention some of these in my remarks, but you can find them described in more detail in our joint publication for the Summit, Istanbul and Beyond.
Chair: We have no choice but to dramatically scale up our efforts to strengthen community resilience. Together with a number of our partners gathered here today, we pledge to build a global coalition for resilience, with the ambition to accompany one billion people out of vulnerability by 2025.
We endorse the Secretary-General’s call for humanitarian assistance that is “as local as possible, as international as necessary”. Our Movement is committed to complementary action between international and local actors. While international support is often required, local responders are usually best placed to deliver rapid, appropriate and sustainable humanitarian assistance. We will work with our partners to scale-up our support to National Societies, particularly in fragile contexts. We will work to strengthen their long-term functional and operational capacities, and this will require significant investment.
Volunteers are at the heart of our work, but too many face unacceptable risks. We pledge to make sure that all of our volunteers have the best training, safety equipment and insurance that we can provide. We call on all of you to join us in promoting their safety and well-being.
We are deeply troubled by the continued and profound suffering of vulnerable migrants. We pledge to scale-up our support at all points of their journeys, to continue to advocate for their safe and dignified treatment, and to more assertively combat xenophobia.
We pledge to integrate principles of gender, inclusivity, dignity, access and participation into our programmes and services, and to strengthen our efforts to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
Finally, the IFRC has been an active participant in the discussions around the Grand Bargain. I am happy to note that we have reached an important agreement with major donors and partners, and can count this among our engagements.
I thank you, Chair, for giving us the floor.