What is the Council of Delegates?
The Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Council) gathers together all the Movement Components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (National Societies, ICRC and IFRC) to discuss matters concerning the Movement as a whole.
The Council sets common strategies and ensures alignment within the Movement on approaches to global humanitarian issues. It contributes to strengthening the Red Cross and Red Crescent cooperation and fostering relationships among the members.
When it is held in an International Conference year, the Council of Delegates precedes the International Conference and proposes the Conference’s officers and adopts its agenda.
When does the Council of Delegates take place?
The Council of Delegates takes place every two years.
Who attends the Council of Delegates?
The Council is attended by members of the Movement only. This includes
– the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
– the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and
– the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
What are the outcomes of the Council of Delegates?
Like the International Conference, the Council of Delegates takes decisions, in the form of resolutions. The Council’s members endeavour to adopt its decisions by consensus.
History of the Council of Delegates
The Council of Delegates (initially known as Commission of Delegates) was established in 1884 during the 3rd International Red Cross Conference, to bring together the National Societies and the ICRC in a forum for discussion and cooperation within the Red Cross family. The main reason was to create a forum for matters concerning the Red Cross, outside of discussions with States.
In 1961, the Council of Delegates met for the first time outside the framework of the International Conference and dealt with issues that were concerns of the Movement only. Since then, the Council has gradually gained importance and cemented itself as a forum for settling matters of substance of the Movement.