Press Release
June 30, 2006

Gordon elected Vice Chair of the 29th International Red Cross;
Red crystal emblem adopted

Geneva Senator and Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard J. Gordon was unanimously elected recently by the Council of Delegates as Vice Chairman of the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among the major achievements of the said Conference was the incorporation of the red crystal, a politically and religiously neutral emblem, as an additional emblem of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Senator Gordons election is a historic and proud occasion for our country, said Ambassador Enrique Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva. The Philippines is now in the forefront of the effort to create the necessary conditions for the alleviation of human suffering in this part of the world, he added.

Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, Chairman of the Standing Commission and president of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society was elected as Chairman. The Council of Delegates is the Movements highest internal decision-making body. It approves the provisional agenda as well as the officers of the International Conference.

The 29th International Conference produced groundbreaking results. It has amended the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to incorporate the additional emblem of the red crystal, which now has the same status as the red cross and its Islamic cousin, the red crescent. Moreover, the red crystal would be used instead of the red cross in areas of religious conflict where its emblem might be taken as a Christian symbol.

In addition, the ICRC has now recognized the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Israeli National Society and Magen David Adom, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will admit both National Societies.

Chairman Al-Hadid has declared that: This is a historical moment for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. We urge all governments to respect the red crystal, in addition to the red cross and red crescent.

The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent brings together representatives of the 183 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the International Federation and the ICRC, with representatives of the 192 States that are party to the Geneva Conventions. The International Conference has the sole authority to consider and adopt resolutions on major, current humanitarian issues.

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