IFRC President meets with Red Cross leaders from Southeast Asia

IFRC President meets with Red Cross leaders from Southeast Asia
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) President Tadateru Konoe met
with leaders from 11 Southeast Asian Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in Myanmar on 11 July.
The leaders gathered in Nay Pyi Taw on the occasion of the annual South East Asian Red Cross Red
Crescent Meeting.
Mr Konoe delivered the opening address at the meeting which was held for the first time in Myanmar
since the inception of the meeting 12 years ago.
Hosted by the Myanmar Red Cross Society, the two-day meeting was aimed at providing a forum for the
leadership of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in South East Asia, to strengthen regional-level
networking and coordination. This includes strengthening the group’s relationship with the Association
of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the regional bloc emerges as a key player in disaster and
pandemic preparedness and response.
The visiting Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders were from Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia,
Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Also present at the meeting were
representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The meeting coincided with Mr Konoe’s visit to Myanmar, during which time he met with
representatives of the Government of the Union of Myanmar including the Minister of Health. Mr Konoe
also visited the Myanmar Red Cross Society’s headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw, and the IFRC Myanmar
country office in Yangon.
Mr Konoe had previously visited Myanmar on a few occasions. His last visit was made in mid-2008 in his
capacity as IFRC vice-president, in the wake of Cyclone Nargis which devastated the Ayeyarwady Delta.
With the support of IFRC, the Myanmar Red Cross Society conducted a large-scale emergency and
recovery operation in the Delta – it ended in late 2011, assisting about 174,000 families and 132,000
school children recover and improve on their pre-cyclone situations.
The IFRC provides facilitation and coordination support to national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
during their outreach at normal time to vulnerable communities, as well as during emergency and
recovery operations in response to natural disasters. The ICRC, in turn, supports national societies in
dissemination activities during normal time, and during responses to conflict situations.
By: Sumitha Martin