Singapore Red Cross Hosts 11th Southeast Asia Red Cross Red Crescent Leadership Meeting

Guest-of-Honour Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Masagos Zulkifli opens meeting and launches Singapore Red Cross Humanitarian Lecture Series

Leaders from 11 Red Cross Red Crescent Southeast Asia national societies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today gathered at the Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, to collaborate in mitigating and confronting the humanitarian challenges faced by the countries in this region.

At the opening ceremony of the annual Leadership Meeting, Guest-of-Honour Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lauded the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement for being at the forefront of serving the vulnerable for more than 150 years. He urged the meeting to “leverage the common principles and operations shared within the Red Cross Movement, together with the cultural understanding of cooperation within ASEAN, to enhance SEA RCRC’s effectiveness in responding to humanitarian crisis and serving the vulnerable.”

Mr Tee Tua Ba, Chairman of Singapore Red Cross shared, “As the twin challenges of humanitarian collaboration and humanitarian diplomacy multiply in frequency and severity, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, as the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, has to depict the strength of unity and combined resolve to meet these challenges. At the same time, we have to mobilise the power of humanity through partnerships and seek new ways to work together, while aligning to our fundamental principles.”

This significant event also marked the launch of the Singapore Red Cross Humanitarian Lecture Series, which Mr Masagos affirmed, would “help in growing the knowledge and understanding of humanitarian law and humanitarian action in Singapore and the region.”

As the pioneer speaker, Mr Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of IFRC delivered a public lecture on ‘Humanitarian Diplomacy in Action,’ discussing the evolving global humanitarian diplomacy agenda and the opportunities it brings for the humanitarian community in Southeast Asia.

In his address, Mr Geleta spoke about the importance of creating a global dialogue with the younger generation using modern technologies, maintaining and growing auxiliary relations with governments as well as the need to build and sharpen delivery capacity.

The 11 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies present at the meeting include Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent, Cambodia Red Cross, Indonesia Red Cross, Lao Red Cross, Malaysia Red Crescent, Myanmar Red Cross, Philippines Red Cross, Singapore Red Cross, Thai Red Cross, Timor-Leste Red Cross and Vietnam Red Cross.

The meeting ends on Wednesday, 26 March 2014.

Singapore, 24 March 2014