Commission decided to convene the 28th International Conference of the
Red Cross and Red Crescent on 14 November. Invitation letters are now
The meeting, which will be held in Geneva, is necessary to amend the statutes
of the Movement. The amendments would allow the International Committee
of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies to recognize and admit the two societies.
The Standing Commission's decision came after long and complex negotiations
involving many governments, national societies and experts. The process
was initiated by the Standing Commission in 1995. The chairman complimented
the Standing Commission's working group on the subject, chaired by Mrs
Christina Magnuson of Sweden, for perseverance in building consensus.
She also thanked the ICRC and the International Federation for their constructive
assistance in bringing about this result.
There will be two stages in the process. First there will be a diplomatic
conference of government representatives who would be asked to adopt a
new protocol (treaty) supplementary to the Geneva Conventions. It would
create an additional protective emblem to stand alongside the red cross
and the red crescent. The emblem would be designed to allow societies,
including Magen David Adom and the Red Crescent and Red Cross Society
of Kazakhstan, to place their own indicative signs within it. It would
also be possible for other societies to do the same thing with other recognized
signs, if they wished to do so.
The second stage would be the consequential amendment of the Movement
statutes, which at present allow only societies using the red cross or
the red crescent to be recognized.
The new emblem will not replace the existing emblems currently used by
the 176 National Societies.
The chairman stated that this result was a breakthrough addressing long-lasting
problems for some societies, but it is also a forward-looking outcome.
She said it will be an attractive option for some other National Societies,
especially when they are working to provide humanitarian relief and protection
in territories where their own emblem is not well understood.