From: “31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent”
Madam President of the Swiss Confederation,
Your Royal Highness(es)
Leaders of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Red Cross and Red Crescent friends,
On behalf of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, I welcome you to this 31st International Conference.
As called for by Rule 15.2 in the Rules of Procedure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Chairman of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, shall open the first plenary meeting.
It is my pleasure to warmly welcome all delegations from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, from the States Party to the Geneva Conventions and from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. I also welcome all observers, in particular the National Societies awaiting recognition and admission. We are all joined in this hall under the theme of “Our World. Your Move”.
I want to extend a special welcome and thank you to our Host country, to President Calmy-Rey and through her to the Swiss Government, with our deep appreciation for the support she in person and the Swiss authorities have rendered to the Movement when organising this Conference.
I now have the honour and pleasure to give the floor to Mrs Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation.
… omissis …
Massimo Barra continues:
Thank you, President Calmy-Rey, for your warm words and your important message to this 31st Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, I’m certain they have been carefully taken note of and will be recalled in the debates to come.
To further underline the message by President Calmy-Rey, I want on my part to emphasize the principle of Humanity, which is the first of the fundamental principles and at the core of the work of the Red Cross-Red Crescent Movement in everything it stands for and everything it does. Deeply rooted in the central message of our Movement’s mission, it is our prime source of power. It also is the foremost driving force in our motivation to work for this Movement in various capacities – as volunteers, as activists, as members and staff as well as leaders on local, national, regional and international levels. And it will guide us in our deliberations during the coming days.
With these words I declare the 31st International Conference open and propose that we proceed with item 2 on the agenda, which is the election of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, Secretary General and other officers of the Conference.
At this stage I would like to thank the representatives of the media for their interest in our Conference, as they are kindly requested to leave our auditorium, because the Conference now moves into closed session.
Pursuant to Rule 15, paragraph 3 of the Movement’s Rules of Procedure, we now proceed to the election of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairmen of this Conference, the Chair of drafting committee, the Secretary General and Assistant Secretaries General and other officers on the proposal of the Council of Delegates. It is further proposed that the vice chairs function as chairs of the thematic plenary sessions and the Commissions as indicated in the proposal.
I have received from Dr Jakob Kellenberger, the Chair of the Council of Delegates, Resolution CD/11.10.2, which has also been distributed to you this morning. It was adopted by the Council on November 26th and proposes the list of persons to be elected to the officer positions of this Conference.
The nominations have also been posted on the Conference and the Standing Commission websites.
I take it that we can consider these persons elected as officers of this 31st Conference.
It is so my pleasure to invite Ms Niki Rattle to take over the chairmanship of this Conference. I also invite the Vice-chairmen, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries General to come and take their places here on the podium. I wish Niki and her team much wisdom and success in leading the deliberations of this Conference!