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Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
The Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is the permanent statutory body of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the highest deliberative body of the Movement between the meetings of the Council of Delegates and the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. It was originally set up to coordinate cooperation between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (previously known as the League of Red Cross Societies).
It consists of two representatives from the ICRC (including its president), two from the IFRC (including its president), and five individuals who are elected by the International Conference. There is also a permanent administrative Secretariat currently located at the ICRC Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. There have been 55 previous elected members of the Standing Commission. The Standing Commission is also responsible for giving out the Henry Dunant Medal (the Movement's highest award) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Prize for Peace and Humanity.
The Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is the permanent statutory body of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the highest deliberative body of the Movement between the meetings of the Council of Delegates and the International Conference, as well as the trustee of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. It was created during the 13th Red Cross Conference in the Hague, the Netherlands in 1928, under Article 18, resolution X. It was set up, in part, to be a connecting force between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the League (today the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), as there had been some disputes over how the Movement should be run and what level of autonomy the League should have. After years of disagreement, Colonel Paul Draudt who was Vice-Chairman of the League and Max Huber of the ICRC drafted a plan that formed the basis for the adoption of the “Statutes of the International Red Cross” in 1928. This resulted in the League being recognised as a full component of the Movement and helped build institutional stability and effectiveness. In order to help with this cooperation a new International Council was approved- which was the direct predecessor of the Standing Commission. Since then, the Standing Commission has been making arrangements for the International Conference (held every four years) such as setting the place and date, establishing the programme, preparing the provisional agenda for submission to the Council of Delegates as well as promoting the Conference, encouraging members of the Conference to make pledges and securing optimum attendance. It has also encouraged implementation of resolutions, examined issues of concern for the Movement and worked to promote cooperation and coordination within the different branches of the Movement.
The Standing Commission's main role is to act as the trustee of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The International Conference is the highest institutional body of the Movement and every four years members from the ICRC, IFRC, the National Societies as well as states and other relevant international actors meet to discuss humanitarian matters. In between the Conferences, the Standing Commission acts as the supreme body and is mandated to provide strategic guidance to all the components of the Movement, along with supervising the implementation of and compliance with the resolutions made during the International Conference. Its functions and goals are defined in article 18 of the Statutes of the Movement and have been further developed in the Council of Delegates (CoD) and International Conference resolutions.
Another purpose (in consultation with the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and National Societies) is to provide strategic guidance in matters which concern the Movement as a whole. It prepares Movement-wide policies such as the Strategy for the Movement, which aims at coordination and cohesion in action. It is the only body in the Movement where all components are represented and which meets regularly on a permanent basis. For the implementation of its decisions, the Commission relies on the ICRC, the International Federation, and the National Societies as components of the Movement. In preparing Councils of Delegates and International Conferences, the Commission focuses on the inclusion of and consultation with National Societies, in order to try to stay in touch with local needs and with external developments. The Standing Commission was also instrumental in bringing the Seville Agreement to the Council of Delegates for adoption to better regulate more cooperation between different components of the Movement. The Standing Commission convenes every six months on average.