UN: 21 November 2007 – Hailing the more than 60-year partnership between the United Nations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Deputy Secretary-General has called for strengthening the ties between the two bodies to address development, climate change and other pressing issues.
“Climate change reminds us that we are a single, interdependent human family sharing one planet,” Asha-Rose Migiro said today in Geneva in her address to the Federation’s General Assembly.
“There are many other such reminders – health threats, volatility in the global economy, regional conflicts and instability,” she added. “In our increasingly globalized world, we must work together to tackle these complex, inter-linked challenges.”
Ms. Migiro called for strengthening the partnership between the two organizations “so that we can better serve humanity,” taking advantage not only of the commonalities between them but also the differences. “We need to complement and amplify each others efforts, taking into account our relative strengths and constraints,” she stated.
In particular, she highlighted the crucial role the Federation plays in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the ambitious set of global targets to slash poverty, disease, illiteracy and other social ills by 2015.
She noted that the millions of people mobilized through the Red Cross and Red Crescent show how volunteers can achieve tremendous development results. “Volunteering is about empowering individuals and communities at the grass-roots level. It is about giving them a voice and letting them take the lead. And it is the foundation upon which rests the achievement of the MDGs.”
The Federation is well-placed to help mobilize more volunteers for peace and development, she said, adding that “as the clock to the 2015 target ticks louder every day, now is the time to do everything possible to harness voluntary action by people around the world.”
The Deputy Secretary-General also pointed out that through its global reach and community health-care expertise, the Federation can help provide the impetus needed to reach the health MDGs – reducing maternal mortality, improving child health, and combating AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.
In addition, Ms Migiro drew attention to the key role played by the Federation in helping States reduce their vulnerabilities to disasters which are one of the key factors holding back progress towards the MDGs in many nations.