Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the international humanitarian movement founded in 1863 and uniting more than 17 million employees and volunteers around the world. The movement considers its main goal “to help all those who suffer without any unfavorable distinction, thereby contributing to the establishment of peace on the Earth.”
Components of the International Red Cross:
- the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
- the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
- the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The main governing body of the Movement is the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which is held, as a rule, every 4 years.
One of the significant areas of activity of the Movement is the international humanitarian law (IHL), which regulates the principles and rules concerning the means and methods of warfare, as well as the humanitarian protection of civilians, sick and wounded soldiers, and prisoners of war. The Republic of Belarus is a party to all key treaties under the IHL, and takes an active part in considering the issues of strengthening and disseminating knowledge about the IHL. At the national level, the Commission for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law has been established under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, which is chaired by the Minister of Justice.
On 7 – 9 November 2017, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer paid a working visit to Belarus, which was the first visit in the history of cooperation between Belarus and the ICRC.
During the visit, Peter Maurer met with the President of the Republic of Belarus H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko and discussed the current stock and prospects of cooperation with Belarus. The Sides expressed mutual interest in strengthening bilateral ties. Mr.Lukashenko noted that Belarus would always support the activities of humanitarian organizations, and the above visit itself and the planned opening of the ICRC office in Belarus would be the beginning of a new area of cooperation. P.Maurer highly valued the humanitarian and peacekeeping activities of Belarus, thanked for the support provided to the Committee, and also expressed hope that Belarus could become a conduit for expanding humanitarian activities at the regional level.
Starting from 2018, the ICRC delegation is working in Belarus in Minsk. It was established on the basis of the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Status, Privileges and Immunities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Republic of Belarus.
From 9 to 12 December 2019, a delegation of the Government of the Republic of Belarus took part in the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The delegation was headed by Mr. Oleg Kravchenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In his address to the Conference, the Deputy Minister emphasized Belarus' commitment to the high values of humanism under the RCMP movement, and expressed the Government's support to the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the RCMP national societies aimed at assisting people affected by armed conflicts, other humanitarian disasters. He also highlighted the special role of the international humanitarian law and its main source – the Geneva Conventions of 1949 — as one of the most important elements in the set of systemic factors that have shaped the modern system of international peace and security.
On 12 December 2019, Mr. Vladimir Likhodedov organized a presentation of the book “Mission of Mercy” for the participants of the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva. The book was published in May 2019 in Minsk with the support of the Belarusian Red Cross Society (BRC) and the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus. The author has collected a unique visual materials about the activities of the International Red Cross Movement in Belarus from the end of the 19th century through 1939, which was included in the publication.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement implements humanitarian projects in Belarus in the area of health care, education, neutralization of the consequences of emergencies, and support to vulnerable groups of the population.