General Assembly

16th Session of the General Assembly Geneva, 20-22 November 2007

Among “Challenges faced by youth worldwide” based on UN World Youth Report 2005:

Girls and young women face particular challenges worldwide. Even if there has been greater awareness of gender issues among governments, equal access to higher education and labour markets continues to be a concern in some countries, negative stereotypes of women have continued to persist, both in old and in new media. Where there are limited resources, young women tend to be first to drop out of school. This leaves young women at a disadvantageous position in terms of acquiring employment or gaining access to the economic mainstream. In the context of poverty, young women are also most affected by HIV / AIDS infections and unwanted pregnancies, further weakening their status in society and undermining their ability to build their future. The new models of independence and autonomy for young women are particularly challenging for countries in which there are strong traditions that constrain young women’s participation.”

From “Overall analysis of the IFRC Global Youth consultation”: “Youth trends in the Red Cross and Red Crescent, 1. Youth volunteers, age range and gender balance”:

“1. Youth volunteers, age range and gender balance

  • The 92 National Societies declared to have a total of 10,843,791 volunteers: This figure indicates a proportional estimation of around 21,805,000 active volunteers worldwide.
  • From among these volunteers, 41 % (4,397,979 volunteers) are youth volunteers; with a proportional estimation of around 8,844,000 youth volunteers worldwide.
  • Globally, the average youth age range among these National Societies is between 10 and 28 years old.
  • The gender balance among the youth volunteers worldwide is an average of 54% of females and a 46% of males. This balance is not maintained at youth decision-making positions where there is still a predominant role of the males.”

“Main Findings and Recommendations” in relation to Youth include:

“To improve the youth policy it is recommended to include the concept of “gender mainstreaming” especially addressing the existing misbalance -in favour of males- at youth leadership positions in most of the National Societies, and a new section mentioning regional youth networks.”

“Health: Globally, young people are reaching adolescence at earlier ages and marrying later. Premarital sexual relations appear to be increasing. Although early pregnancy has declined in many countries, it is still a large concern. HIV I AIDS is the first cause of mortality of youth, followed by violence and injuries”.

On “Youth concept and context”:

“Conceptually, youth has been defined in the sociological literature as a stage of socialisation and transition to adulthood. At present, however, youth is being re-evaluated as a central and strategic phase inside the life course. This conceptual shift is required by the increasing individualisation of the process of growing up. Individuals determine their adult positions through a process of “negotiation” instead of simply following paths pre-defined by their social origin. This does not mean, however, that origin no longer matters. The individual’s capacity to negotiate successfully his/her transition is still strongly dependent on the cultural capital and the support provided by one’s family, as well as by opportunities and constrains related to gender and region”

The General Assembly approved a report from the “Governance Group on HIV/AIDS” including this paragraph:

“recommends to the Governing Board to continue the HIV/AIDS Governance Group’s role as a sounding board for the HIV/AIDS Special Representative of the Secretary General and for Secretariat Federation to undertake mainstreaming of HIV / AIDS, as well as to provide comprehensive advice to the Governing Board and to maximise PLHIV / AIDS representation and gender balance in the membership of the HIV / AIDS Governance Group”.

From: “Speech of the President” (Don Juan Manuel Suárez Del Toro Rivero)

“Our volunteers give us a realistic hope of improving relations between human beings. It is the volunteers who, through their altruism, make it possible to put an end to situations of distress: it is they who know by name the persons affected. And above all, it is thanks to them that the international community today is more aware than ever before of the great inequalities suffered by families and persons because of their origin, gender or views”.

From “Report of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Commission”

“At the same time, the age old essential work of the International Federation in disaster preparedness continued in response to the ubiquitous, often unseen and neglected disasters that National Societies all around the world face on a daily basis; chronic food insecurity, droughts, floods, landslides, gender based violence, HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.”

“Conclusions – Recommendations to the General Assembly

The Advisory Body put forward the following recommendations to the General Assembly;

o Strive to ensure gender balance in the membership of the Advisory Bodies


From “Report of the HIV Governance group”:

“2.4 Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIP A) and Diversity

One openly HIV positive person participated in the meetings, and the group advocated strongly for the inclusion of diverse groups in the Federations HIV response. The silence of the organization on the inclusion of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people was challenged given our stated commitment to diversity, with a call to move beyond ‘tolerance’ to ‘respect’.”

“Lack of feasible and effective strategy for addressing gender issues – Gender inequality is fuelling the spread of HIV in many countries. It has not been easy to identify an effective and feasible strategy for addressing gender issues within the context of the HIV pandemic. Some lessons have been learnt in Malawi in the involvement of community opinion leaders. More work needs to be done to define a more feasible strategy that can be contextualized to different cultural setting”

“The Federation must continue to emphasise the tackling of gender inequalities, promote the greater involvement of people with HIV, and confront stigma and discrimination”

Among “4 Conclusions and key recommendations to the General Assembly”

“Maximise PLHIV representation and gender balance in the membership of the HIV Governance Group.”

Five women (of total 14) elected to Drafting Committee:

  • Mrs. Monique Coulibaly, Cote d’Ivoire RC
  • Mrs. Alison Cupit, Fidji RC
  • Ms. Belkis Gonzalez de Castano, Argentina RC
  • Mrs. Margarita Moreno, Panama RC
  • Mrs. Mabel Rammekwa, Botswana RC

Women included among members of Board Working Groups:

“High level Implementation Advisory Group” (2)

  • Mrs. Jiang Yiman, China RC
  • Mrs. Monique Coulibaly, Cote d’Ivoire RC

«High Level Constitutional Review Working Group” (5)

  • H.R.H. Princess Margriet, The Netherlands RC
  • Mrs. Mandissa Kalako- Williams, South Africa RC
  • Ms. Margarita Moreno, Panama RC
  • Mrs. Geri Lau, Singapore RC
  • Ms. Maiju Jolma, Finnish RC

“Governance Group on HIV/AIDS” (4)

  • Mrs. Monique Coulibaly, Cote d’Ivoire RC
  • Mrs. Michaele Amedee Gedeon, Haiti RC
  • Dr. Lita Sarana, Indonesia
  • Lady Jocelyn Keith, Vice-Chair, Health and Community Services Commission

“Masambo Fund”

  • Mrs. Michaele Amedee Gedeon, Haiti RC (1)

“Ad Hoc Group on Volunteering” (2)

  • Ms. Tautala Mauala, Samoa RC
  • D. Mawanda Shaban, Uganda RC

“Governing Board’s Group on Advocacy and Communications” (1)

  • Mrs. Jiang Yiman, China

“Governing Board Development Group” (1)

  • Mrs. Eloisa Evora Borges, Cape Verde RC

“Strategy of the Movement Group” (1)

  • Mrs. Sella Hennadige Nimal, Sri Lanka, Chair, Disaster Preparedness and Relief Commission

“Governing Board Working Group on the Preparation of the General Assembly” (2)

  • Mrs. Michaele Amedee Gedeon, Haiti RC
  • Mrs Eloisa Evora Borges, Cape Verde RC

“Governing Board Committee for the Memorial Medal” (2)

  • Ms Mandisa Kalako- Williams, South Africa RC
  • Mrs Monique Coulibaly, Cote d’Ivoire RC

«Tsunami Governance Committee»

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

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