Pledges are one of the most creative and flexible outcomes of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. They are an important tool, giving International Conference members and observers the freedom and creativity to take concrete, measurable and action-oriented voluntary commitments on issues of priority for their local, national and regional contexts – or even at the global level. The voluntary nature of pledges allows for more flexibility and adaptability than resolutions. Pledges are a powerful humanitarian advocacy tool for initiating or advancing dialogue and cooperation among International Conference participants, leading to concrete action in the interests of the most vulnerable. This guide contains important information on the action that you can take by making a pledge at the 33rd International Conference.
List of model pledgesA variety of model pledges are being developed, to provide examples of how to make pledges on various themes. International Conference members and/or observers are invited to adapt them to their specific priorities and contexts.
– Model Pledge on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
– Protecting the Natural Environment in Armed Conflicts
Specific pledgesSpecific pledges are “specific” because they are made by a closed group of pledging parties, often on a single thematic issue. Once drafted and submitted by the pledging parties, the pledge is not open for additional signatures. This type of pledge typically has a more focused approach, tailored to the context or priorities of the pledging parties.
Individual specific pledges are drafted and submitted by one International Conference participant only (e.g. one State, one National Society or one observer). The pledge embodies a personalized commitment and sets out an individual plan of action.
Joint specific pledges are drafted and submitted by any combination of members and/or observers (e.g. a National Society and its government, a group of National Societies, or a group of National Societies, governments and observers/humanitarian partners). This type of pledge expresses a commitment to work together on a specific topic. It signifies a group commitment with a common plan of action, usually (but not exclusively) in a regional context. We encourage this type of pledge, particularly between a National Society and its government, as it strengthens their relationship, fosters dialogue and establishes their joint commitment to move forward on a particular issue. The content of the pledge is agreed upon in advance and drafted jointly.
Open pledgesOpen pledges are drafted and used in a similar style to a petition (they are also referred to as “petition-style” pledges). The initiator drafts a pledge and invites any and all International Conference participants to sign it and commit to the cause. While it is a collective agreement, every signing party is responsible for undertaking its own implementation and reporting. The initiator has sole responsibility for drafting and promoting the content of the pledge. The open nature of this type of pledge makes it an important advocacy tool.
A list of open pledges submitted to the International Conference for signature will be published on the International Conference website and communicated through regular updates to all members.
Criteria and content of pledgesGiven the voluntary nature of pledges, Conference members and/or observers are free to draft the content according to their priorities. Nevertheless, when drafting the pledge, the following criteria should be considered:
· The content should conform to the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
· The pledge must state clear commitments, outline concrete actions and indicate in measurable terms the objectives to be achieved during the period 2019–2023.
· The pledging parties should be aware of any budgetary implications, and may include a reference to mobilizing the resources required to support the implementation of the pledge.
· The pledge should be clear, concise and ideally fit on one page.
Pledges directly related to the themes and topics of the International Conference or pledges specifically supporting the International Conference resolutions are highly encouraged.
To facilitate the pledging process, templates for specific pledges and open pledges will be made available on the International Conference website as they are developed. In addition, a variety of model pledges will be developed, to provide examples of how to make pledges on various themes. These will also be made available on the International Conference website. International Conference members and/or observers are invited to adapt them to their specific priorities and contexts.
Submission of pledgesPledges are submitted online. The online pledge database will open for submission in June 2019. To submit a pledge and/or sign an open pledge, a user account is required. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on your organization’s user account.
In addition, an information stand for pledge submissions will be set up at the International Conference venue to provide guidance to those wishing to make a pledge during the International Conference. The pledge database will remain open for three months following the International Conference to allow members/observers to make additional pledges.
Reporting on pledgesThe pledging parties are expected to carry out voluntary monitoring and reporting on the implementation of their pledges. Reports on individual specific pledges are produced by the sole signatory party. Joint specific pledges require a joint report by all signatory parties on their common efforts. For open pledges, every signatory party provides an individual report. Although reporting is voluntary, signatories are encouraged to make the most of the opportunity to showcase the work they have done and the progress made through the implementation of their pledges.
DeadlinesThe deadline for submitting pledges is 31 March 2020. Open pledges will remain open for signature until 31 December 2020.
Guidelines for reporting on outcomes of the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red CrescentClick here
The benefits of pledges for all International Conference participants
For the Movement components:Member components are encouraged to submit and follow up on pledges in order to promote and implement specific activities and establish a useful platform for discussions with governments and other humanitarian actors.
For governments:Governments can use pledges to plan the specific activities they will undertake in support of the International Conference’s themes and resolutions. Pledges provide a way to demonstrate a government’s priorities and commitment to specific topics.
For Movement components and governments together (joint pledges):Joint pledges by National Societies and governments provide the basis for joint plans and commitments. These pledges are strongly recommended, and can strengthen the auxiliary role of National Societies and their unique relationship with their governments.
For observers/other partners:To strengthen partnerships with other humanitarian actors and provide a concrete platform for collaboration, joint pledges with observers are also encouraged.