November 18, 2013
Our identity in the modern world: the international branding initiative
How do we strengthen National Society brands and build the Movement’s brand identity in a digital, inter-connected and ever-more competitive world? How do we balance fundraising demands with respect for the emblem and particularly its protective use?
These complex issues attracted serious interest and discussion on the final day of the Council of Delegates, with a resolution on branding adopted without any amendment, but insisting on the relevance of the existing legal and regulatory framework while launching a broader consultation process on how to use the emblems for resource-mobilization. Many delegations welcomed a new brand toolkit and a ‘do’s and don’ts’ style document to clarify the 1991 Emblem Regulations – with a request to find more flexibility in the final document.
The Council agreed to develop a process led by IFRC and ICRC for full consultation within the Movement and potentially with states, on a possible Movement logo including terms and conditions of use.
Lessons learnt in responding to sexual and gender-based violence
Incidents of sexual and gender-based violence are acute in armed conflict, post-conflict and emergency situations. As Dr Helen Durham of Australian Red Cross reminded us: “These issues are located in discrimination, in poverty and inequality. And at the heart of these issues is the business of the Movement.”
National Societies, the IFRC and the ICRC shared lessons learnt from within their own organizations at yesterday’s workshop on gender-based violence. Because it is predictable in some situations, early intervention measures are essential. Men and boys can be perpetrators as well as victims, and their needs must be considered. Prevention initiatives need to focus firmly on behaviour change, not merely awareness-raising.
Addressing humanitarian impact of vulnerable migrants
“We need to re-work our priorities as we consider the range of migration issues,” said panelist Ulrika Arehed Kagstrom, Secretary General of the Swedish Red Cross in yesterday’s workshop on migration. National Societies participating in the workshop brought a range of experience to a very rich discussion. From climate change in the Pacific, discrimination of migrant communities in Libya, conflict in Syria driving refugees into Lebanon, labour migration and urbanization in the Philippines and Indonesia, there were very real challenges raised. Participants agreed that migration is a priority and a focus for the near future, and that coordination and support by IFRC and ICRC are absolutely necessary, including alignment between National Societies in countries of origin, destination and transit.
Movement strategy moves ahead
Yesterday’s resolution on Movement strategy, which proposed a new shorter and more flexible strategy, received strong support. Greg Vickery, Chair of the Standing Commission presented the resolution by saying: “We need to position our movement for the rapidly changing world”.
The resolution included a prototype for the new strategy. There were different views expressed on the prototype and the Standing Commission expressed a commitment to take those views into account when developing the final strategy document.
The proposed Movement strategy builds on the strategies of the ICRC, IFRC and National Societies as well as incorporating learning from other Movement processes, including Movement co-operation, fora and branding. Importantly, the focus will be on shared approaches rather than common objectives.
Health care in danger
“Our commitment is to save lives without losing lives.” This was the strong aspiration from delegates attending this week’s Health Care in Danger workshops. This four-year Movement-wide project aims to address the issue of attacks on health care workers and medical facilities in conflict zones and other emergencies. Delegates heard video messages from Canadian, Norwegian, Palestinian, Kazakh, Israeli, Somali and South Sudanese National Societies who shared activities related to safeguarding health care in their contexts. Key recommendations included building stronger internal safety and security processes for staff and enhancing relationships with states to adopt measures to protect the medical mission. Participants also called for a permanent space for National Societies to facilitate the sharing of good practice and experiences.
Stronger legal protection for victims of armed conflicts
The ICRC has been working to strengthen the law protecting people detained in relation to non-international armed conflict and the effectiveness of International Humanitarian Law compliance mechanisms.
A progress report presented to the Council describes the main actions taken and results achieved so far, while the resolution passed today called on the Movement to continue supporting the ongoing consultation, and to encourage States to actively engage in the process.
National Societies expressed broad support for the work done emphasizing the supporting role they can play, in particular through their dialogue with governments. Several underlined the fact that work on the compliance track should not detract from the role of the international conference with regard to International Humanitarian Law.