27th International Conference
of the Red Cross and Red Crescent


During the year from 8 May 1999 to 8 May 2000, and including the two key dates of the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and the 27th International Conference, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will mark the millennium year, using this occasion to unite and promote all its programmes and operations under the slogan:

Red Cross Red Crescent: the power of humanity

Four key objectives of the Millennium Year have been agreed by the Movement:

  • to promote the values and action of the Red Cross and Red Crescent worldwide, profiling its unique characteristics
  • to position the International Red Cross and Red Crescent in a changing world, restate roles and responsibilities, and underline the importance of humanitarian principles and law
  • to campaign for the development and application of humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law
  • to commit the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and to call upon others, to pledge support and resources to meet the humanitarian challenges of the new millennium

Pledges: Red Cross Red Crescent Commitment

The new millennium challenges the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to plan and pledge commitment to the future. In this respect, pledging can be considered as a means of turning goodwill into commitment for support, for resources, for ideas, for action. Calling for pledges from within and outside the Red Cross Red Crescent can strengthen relations and establish new links.

Each National Society, as well as the International Federation and the ICRC will individually and collectively make their pledges to the future, and these will be presented at the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The scope of the pledges will be broad as each component of the Movement recognises its own capacity and the needs of the communities it serves. Some pledges will be very specific, such as a Society pledging to train 2,000 first aiders within one year, others will be in respect of more general and long-term aspirations.

Categories of pledges will include:

  • Recruiting and motivating new members and volunteers from all levels and sectors of society
  • Establishing new or strengthening existing programmes and projects to better serve the needs of the most vulnerable
  • Strengthening the legal basis and increasing the capacity for Red Cross Red Crescent action at national and international levels
  • Building partnerships with others to ensure more efficient and ethical humanitarian action in emergency response operations
  • Designing and carrying out training and dissemination of humanitarian law and humanitarian values with a view to influencing the behaviour of individuals and groups

Pledges: Commitment from others

Each National Society, the International Federation and the ICRC with work with their existing partners and contacts to encourage them to make pledges to meet the humanitarian challenges of the future. These pledges might include:

  • increased support and resources for the Red Cross Red Crescent within their own communities and countries
  • improved working agreements and co-operation during operations
  • further recognition of the importance of Red Cross and Red Crescent as a grass-roots organisation and their role in providing the most basic needs at the community level.

In this respect, pledges may be expected from:

Just as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will present its pledges to the future at the 27th International Conference, so too could the Governments consider and pledge their own commitment to humanitarian action in the new millennium. This may be in respect of one or more of the three themes of the Plan of Action, namely: the protection of victims of armed conflict; humanitarian response; the relationship between the Movement and States and the promotion of humanitarian principles.

Specific pledges could also be made with respect to strengthening the laws and ensuring protection for the red cross and red crescent emblems in order that they may continue to provide protection for those in need and for those providing the assistance.

Corporate Sector:
Recognising that the public image of a company or organisation is important, and that multinationals themselves are accepting they have a responsibility to give back to the communities they work in and profit from, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is working to provide opportunities for the corporate sector to be more involved at the international and at national and local levels in humanitarian action.

Specific pledges can be in the form of support for new programmes areas, for training and conferences organised by Red Cross Red Crescent, for publications and communications, and for specific preparedness or emergency operations.

In this increasingly complex and inter-related world, many individuals are looking for ways in which they can make a meaningful and effective contribution to some of the world's problems and challenges. The Red Cross and Red Crescent are developing ways in which individuals through their ideas, support and action can contribute to increased humanitarian action in the new millennium.

Specific pledges may be in terms of financial resources, in man-hours and specific skills and expertise offered on a volunteers basis, or for action and lending a hand when operations call for local community and international participation.


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Red Cross Red Crescent Movement



Special pledges

Background Information