Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
History

Enrique de la Mata 1981-87

Lawyer Enrique de la Mata, a Spanish parliamentarian and minister, participated in the legalisation of Spanish trades union and played a role in the transitional period from General Franco's dictatorship to a constitutional monarchy.

The XXVIth International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent elected de la Mata, ex-president of the Spanish Red Cross, as chairman. His stewardship was seen as heralding a "a new era". De la Mata pushed for constitutional changes to the League and helped to make National Societies more self-reliant and independent.

De la Mata said: "There is never, or hardly ever, one single answer to a problem: and when we realise this, we realise that there are several sound answers. This being so, one of the very best things we can do nowadays is to make our organisation fit local conditions. This is a philosophy that makes for the regionalisaton and decentralisation we champion in programming and decision -making."

De la Mata promoted the World Youth Congress in Calgary (Canada), the European Youth Congress in Moscow (1984) and the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Peace Conference the same year.

Enrique de la Mata

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