Monday, December 3, 2007

Federation President signs new pledges

IFRCRCS (Geneva)- During the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, the Federation’s President, Juan Manuel Suárez del Toro Rivero, signed a pledge to commit National Societies to the prevention of abuse by its staff and volunteers, and by those working on their behalf.

“The Federation unequivocally condemns all forms of abuse and recognizes the extreme levels of suffering that can result from it,” Mr Suárez del Toro said. “That is why we have adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse, including towards sexual exploitation.”

Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are in positions of trust and have a special responsibility to create and maintain safe environments in the workplace and amongst those it helps.

Mr Suárez del Toro also signed a new pledge to strengthen the quality and quantity of National Societies’ young volunteers, and to encourage them to actively address the humanitarian challenges facing vulnerable people.

The pledge commits the Federation to a global youth event in 2009 that will contribute to and channel young people’s motivation, energy and idealism in areas like HIV and AIDS, the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, respect for diversity and inter-religious dialogue.