The 10-year tenure of Mario
Villaroel-Lander, born in 1947 in Caracas, Venezuela, was notable for the
implementation of financial controls, clear guidelines on nutrition and a
strategic plan to look at long-term challenges.
He oversaw the name change from League to International Federation. But,
politically, the biggest challenge was the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Referring to the changed conditions, he said: "National Societies are looking
to us for firm leadership and the rapid resolution of the many difficulties
that face a rapidly growing organisation in an increasingly complex word."
In 1989, a "supercamp" was held at the site of the battle of Solferino to
mark the 125th anniversary of the International Red Cross and Crescent
Movement. "We are living proof of peaceful co-existence, united by our common
committment to alleviate human suffering," Villaroel said.
Villaroel appointed a commission to work on a Strategic Work Plan for the
1990s (see links below), which led to the ideal to work
for the world's most vulnerable people while recognising that the
organisation's main strength lay in its unique network.
Links: Order the Strategic Work Plan (www.ifrc.org)
Links: Evaluation Report "Learning from the Nineties" (www.ifrc.org)
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