General Assembly

17th Session of the General Assembly Nairobi, 18-21 November 2009

From Governing Board Report

Under “Complementary action: promote a culture of participation, transparency and accountability”:

  • Participation, diversity and proportional representation The Governing Board monitored progress made in 2008-2009 towards promoting diversity in fulfilment of the pledge made by the International Federation on the subject of non-discrimination and respect for diversity at the 28th International Conference. In the first part of 2008, eight declarations concerning migration and non-discrimination, vulnerable young people, gender-based violence, the gender perspective of the HIV / AIDS problem and assistance and protection were presented to the Commission on the Status of Women, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Council of Europe, among others.”
  • “Another of the objectives established by the Secretary General and adopted by the Governing Board for this period was the promotion of partnerships among international humanitarian and development actors, which could also contribute to achieving another objective, that of ensuring that management of the Secretariat’s human resources is merit-based, taking into account gender balance and geographical diversity. The new selection process for management positions should be complemented by the Federation’s traditional system based on the participation of members in the selection process. Efforts aimed at ensuring a fair gender balance, geographical diversity, efficient management and risk reduction will continue”

Under “The Federation’s Advisory Bodies and Youth Commission”:

“Intersectoral issues examined by the Advisory Bodies included avian influenza pandemic preparedness, food security and the role of women in promoting health. They also intend to discuss issues relating to climate change and migration at their next meeting.”

Under “Future work”

“While the development of the new workplan will be the task of the replacement advisory body, topics where there is work outstanding include “Food security” and “Women and Health”. The H&CS support the proposition to look at women in three ways: as decision-makers, as carers, and as vulnerable persons”.

On “Implementation and follow up as per work plan approved by the Governing Board a) Progress on Global Alliance on HIV”, under “e) Communications and advocacy”:

“Media colleagues have actively promoted and publicised our HIV programmes at Zonal launches, annually on World AIDS Day, and at other key events. World AIDS Day focused on leadership by communities, as well as the plight of women and orphans who are among the hardest hit. The Secretariat in Geneva marked the occasion with a Film Festival featuring selected HIV activities in Africa: home-based care in South Africa, home-based care in Kenya, and the “Filles libres” project in Cameroon”

Under “f Resources mobilisation”:

“To prepare for the Summit, a working group including the International Federation met to develop a framework for the advocacy agenda. The central themes identified include a special focus on women and groups in situations of vulnerability; sexual and reproductive rights; prevention, with the emphasis on positive prevention; human rights, with emphasis on criminalization and stigma; and access to treatment, care and support”.

Under “g Partnership with People living with HIV”:

“The central themes identified include a special focus on women and groups in situations of vulnerability; sexual and reproductive rights; prevention, with the emphasis on positive prevention; human rights, with emphasis on criminalization and stigma; and access to treatment, care and support”.

Under “h) Addressing gender”:

“The Special Representative on HIV re-energised the defunct Gender Task Force and commissioned a comprehensive review of the International Federation’s gender policies leading to some far-reaching recommendations that were published in January 2008 in the Gender into Programming: Gender Policy Review Report’

This is now influencing management thinking. As one result, a gender focal point position has been created in the Principles and Values Department. The GA on HIV was selected by the Gender Task Force to test approaches to gender mainstreaming. Special initial discussion on gender as included in the Annual Review of the Southern Africa HIV Programme in February 2008. For the first time, this generated considerable interest including on the issue of violence against women. In 2009, through broad based consultation and careful consideration of existing experiences, strategy for addressing gender issues within the context of HIV was developed for Southern Africa.

Experience has shown that the involvement of the elders can have an impact when they are motivated to act through home based care programmes to ensure that wife inheritance rights are observed. Currently Malawi Red Cross is partnering with UNICEF, the Ministry of Women and Children Development, Malawi Police Service, the Judiciary, and Ministry of Education to pilot the establishment of victims support unit at community level”.

From “Consolidated report – Working groups – Agenda item 14.2 – Strategy 2020”:

“Strategy 2020 should gain life and significance by being the point of reference for young and old, men and women of action in each and every one of our National Societies. Our millions of volunteers should feel that Strategy 2020 is their way of making a difference and tackling some of Solferinos facing our world today.”

Under “Item 10 of the agenda: Report of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Advisory Body”:

“The Advisory Body has been constrained in terms of the turnover of members, with more than 30 per cent of members joining the Advisory Body in the final year and two seats being vacant for a similar period. At the same time, it should be noted that in the orginal constitution of the Advisory Body, all members were men. The Chairman of the Advisory Body has tried to rectify this situation during the term by selecting female representatives as and when the opportunity rose.”

“Complementary action: consolidate the Federation of the Future and develop the new strategic framework”

From the “Report of the Secretary General”:

“We are working intensively to mainstream gender awareness and sensitivity across all the IFRC’s programming, and are striving for greater gender balance and western Europe/rest of world balance at management level”.

“At the senior management level, I have brought in skills that were not present before, and have improved the gender and geographical diversity of the IFRC’s leadership without compromising its high quality.”

Five women had been appointed members of the Compliance and Mediation Committee:

  • Mrs. Fatima Gailani, Afghanistan RC
  • Dna. Belkis Gonzales de Castano, Argentina RC
  • Mrs. Ravza Shaiahmetova, Kyrgistan RC
  • Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman, Liberian RC
  • Mrs. Monique Basque Cote d’Ivoir RC