Australian Red Cross volunteers form a red cross and red crescent outside the Sydney Opera House
Delegates from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are gathering from 11-18 November in Sydney, Australia, to take part in the biennial statutory meetings, hosted this year by the Australian Red Cross. Throughout the meeting, 1,000 Movement delegates from nearly every country in the world, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will discuss today’s humanitarian challenges and decide on the priorities and future direction of the Red Cross Red Crescent, the world’s largest humanitarian network.
To mark the occasion, 800 high-energy Australian Red Cross volunteers gathered today on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in a giant representation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems – as a representation of the Movement’s Fundamental Principles of Humanity and Voluntary Service.
From 12-15 November, the 19th session of the General Assembly of the IFRC will address several humanitarian issues, with a special focus on the post-2015 development agenda and the IFRC’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals. In workshops, participants will focus on number of other issues such as implementing the concept of resilience in addressing today's vulnerabilities caused by climate change, urbanisation and migration, and working towards a Movement-wide approach to National Society development.
During the IFRC General Assembly, delegates will elect a new president, vice-presidents and National Society members of the Governing Board. The Assembly will be followed by the Council of Delegates from 17-18 November, where the IFRC, ICRC and National Societies will discuss and adopt new policies and strategies on major humanitarian issues.
A Humanitarian Village and speaker's corner will be open to the public during the meetings. In addition, the Movement will confer five awards, including the Henry Davison Award and the Henry Dunant Medal, to pay tribute to National Societies and individuals for their remarkable efforts and achievements to the benefit of the Movement and its mission.