International Conference

17th International Conference, Stockholm 1948

Again, a world war interrupted the regularity of International Conferences of the Red Cross, this time for 10 years, after which one was convened in Stockholm in the early autumn of 1948

One of the first, few, instances of the use of the word “women” in the report from this Conference occurs in a report from the Lebanese Red Cross delivered by Mrs Kettaneh, who mentions women both as victims and as actors; the context is the events that had recently taken place in Palestine or, as it was now called, Israel:

“There has been a veritable flood of old people, women and children who have had to leave their country, abandoning their homes, their houses, their businesses, often everything they possessed. The neighbouring countries are giving all possible assistance to these refugees; their hospitality is limited only by the extent of their resources.

The men and women of the Lebanese Red Cross have worked with all their strength in order to prevent the spread of epidemics in the camps where the refugees have been assembled.[i]

The Conference adopted a “Declaration on Peace” which had been submitted to it by the Board of Governors of the Leage (i.e., the General Assembly which it was called when reorganized), and which contained the following phrase:

“The primary rôle of the Red Cross in the preservation of peace is, therefore, one of conducting activities through which men, women and children throughout the world may act to relieve and prevent human suffering both at home and abroad

“ It is therefore for all national Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Lion and Sun Societies, and for each of their individual members, men, women, and children, all of whom, individually or collectively, belong to this universal federation, the League of Red Cross Societies, to support and sustain the basic Red Cross activity of mutual aid and friendly co-operation between individuals and nations, thereby contributing to the further objective of the Red Cross to contribute to the foundations on which peace can be built” [ii].

[i] [XVII] Seventeenth international Red Cross Conference, Stockholm, August 1948 : report; [Geneva : ICRC : League], 1948; P 56; P 62/120 in the electronic version at

[ii] [XVII] Seventeenth international Red Cross Conference, Stockholm, August 1948 : report; [Geneva : ICRC : League], 1948; P 102; P 108/120 in the electronic version at

By admin

30-odd years with the Movement - National Society, International Federation and Standing Commission, for some reason never ICRC.
Presently a free spirit and attached to Sandefjord Red Cross

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *