22 Jun 2006
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies votes to include Israel's Magen David Adom as a full member of that organization.
(Communicated by the Israel Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Israel welcomed today (22 June) the decision of the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, taken last night, to
include Israel's Magen David Adom as a full member of that organization.
Thus, an historic injustice which endured for over 57 years has been finally
Official Statement of International Committee of the Red Cross
International conference paves the way for red crystal
The 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent 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 red crescent. In addition the participants to the International Conference requested that the ICRC and the International Federation recognize
and admit the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PCRS) into the Movement.
As a consequence of this successful outcome the ICRC has now recognized the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Israeli
National Society, Magen David Adom (MDA), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will admit both
National Societies. This outcome extends the universality of the Movement to an important area of Red Cross and Red Crescent
operations and strengthens the operational cooperation of the two National Societies with each other and with their international partners
in the Movement.
The Conference had been convened as a follow-up to the diplomatic conference of States in December 2005, which adopted the Third
Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, creating an additional protective emblem for the Movement, known as the red crystal.
The chairman of the International Conference Mohammed Al Hadid declared that: ‘‘This is an 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 the red crescent’’.
The acceptance by States party to the Geneva Conventions of the Movement’s amended Statutes also means that National Societies can
benefit from the flexibility afforded by the Third Additional Protocol in the use of the red crystal or of a combination of emblems recognized
by the Conventions.
The use of the red crystal will also provide additional protection to war victims and humanitarian workers in conflict situations where the
red cross or the red crescent cannot be used.
The ICRC, the International Federation and the National Societies might use the red crystal temporarily and in exceptional circumstances.
However no State or National Society is obliged to make any change to the emblem it uses. The ICRC and the International Federation will
not change their respective names and emblems.
The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent brings together representatives of the national Red Cross and Red
Crescent societies, the International Federation and the ICRC, with representatives of the States that are party to the Geneva Convention.
In total 178 National Societies attended and 148 States.
For further information, or to set up interviews (ISDN lines available in Geneva), please contact:
Ian Piper, ICRC Tel: +41 22 730 2063 or + 41 79 217 3216 (mobile)
Marie-Françoise Borel, International Federation Tel: +41 22 730 4346 or + 41 79 217 3345
The International Federation, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross together
constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Official Statement of American Red Cross
American Red Cross Welcomes Israel's Magen David Adom and Palestine Red Crescent Society to International Red Cross and Red
Wednesday June 21, 10:02 pm ET
WASHINGTON, June 21 - Today, the American Red Cross welcomes and celebrates the membership of Magen David Adom (MDA) and
the Palestine Red Crescent Society to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The inclusion of these two National
Societies is a significant step towards universality for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
For MDA, admission is long overdue. Since Israel gained Statehood in 1948, the American Red Cross has fought for international
recognition of MDA as Israel's equivalent to the Red Cross. To underscore this commitment and encourage action on this issue, the
American Red Cross has withheld $45 million in dues since May 2000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
"We are extremely pleased that a wrong has been made right and that MDA is now an equal partner with the 184 other National Societies
that comprise the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement," said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, American Red Cross Chairman. "MDA is a
world-class emergency response organization and has a great deal of expertise to offer other National Societies and the world during
critical times of need."
For more than 50 years, the American Red Cross Board of Governors had considered admission of MDA to the Movement a policy priority.
MDA had been denied access to the Movement because they used the Red Star of David, which is not explicitly referenced in the Geneva
In December 2005, a Diplomatic Conference adopted the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. The Third Additional
Protocol to the Geneva Conventions enables MDA to continue to use the Red Shield of David when operating in Israel and, when operating
outside of Israel, to use the Red Shield of David inside the newly adopted Red Crystal emblem.
The success of the Diplomatic Conference was due in large part to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Agreement on
Operational Arrangements between MDA and the Palestine Red Crescent Society in which both Societies committed to take concrete
steps to improve humanitarian conditions in these areas. The MOU also paved the way for the membership of both societies in the
Movement. As a result of these agreements, Palestinians now receive urgently needed medical and humanitarian services more quickly.
"In righting this injustice, the American Red Cross is grateful for the courage, resolve and support of the Governments of the United States
and Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
our sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world, and the many organizations and Members of Congress who have
been steadfast in their support for MDA's admission," said McElveen-Hunter.
MDA is a critical tracing partner to the American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center. A resource of hope, the Center has
responded to 40,000 requests worldwide for information on the fate of those affected by the Holocaust and, in 1,200 miraculous cases,
has reconnected loved ones. For further information on the Center, go to http://www.redcross.org/services/intl/holotrace/index.html.
For more information on this topic, please visit http://www.redcross.org/mda/.
The American Red Cross has helped people mobilize to help their neighbors for 125 years. Last year, victims of a record 72,883
disasters, most of them fires, turned to the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross for help and hope. Through
more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people each year gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to
emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Almost 4 million people give blood-the gift of life-through the Red Cross, making it
the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members
separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global
network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An
average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a
government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.
Source: American Red Cross
Posted by Dr. Mike Cohen (http://www.gogalil.com)