Pacific Red Cross to take joint approach to conference
Red Cross leaders in the Pacific have for the first time decided on a joint approach for the region, ahead of several major international conferences in the coming year.
Red Cross leaders in the Pacific have for the first time decided on a joint approach, ahead of several major international conferences in the coming year.
The heads of 13 Pacific Red Cross societies ranging from New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea to Palau and Solomon Islands met in Fiji this month for their annual leaders' forum.
A Red Cross spokesperson for the Pacific, Finau Heuifanga Limuloa, told Amelia Langford it is a challenge to get such a diverse group together and decide on common goals.
IFINAU HEUIFANGA LIMULOA: This is quite a significant meeting, because each of the national societies or the Red Cross societies, are so different. Their contexts are quite different. The Pacific includes of course, Australia, New Zealand and then, Melanesian countries, Polynesian and also Micronesian. And so what our leaders did this year that was different from any other year, was try and come up with what is our common vision, collective vision for the Red Cross and the Pacific. And this has always been difficult because you've got Australia which has hundreds of staff and its huge its a wealthy, national society and then you've got right down to Palau which has a staff of one. And trying to come up with what they see is the collective vision, was probably always considered too hard and so it's never been broached but the leaders are committed to kind of nutting this out and having a more collaborative approach as a Pacific region.
AMELIA LANGFORD: Yeah, I can imagine that would be really difficult with each country having their own, separate goals as well. So what was reached?
FHL: So what the leaders came up with was, their vision for what a strong national society looks like. And they came up, it took a while, but they finally reached six characteristics of what a strong Red Cross society looks like in the Pacific. And these six characteristics are that they are local. Not just at a headquarter level, but they are actually in communities and active and in communities. That they are united. That we , you know despite our differences, we have one united voice and also not just regionally but also nationally as well. Um That they are visionary. And that's quite important, is that you are not just looking at the here and now, but you are also making plans for a sustainable, long term vision that you are reaching towards. That they're credible. That they're viewed as valuable partners by national stakeholders. That they're resourced. And this is always a really important one for, particularly the smaller national societies, it's getting resources whether its financial or human resources, particularly in Palau where they only have one person. And that they're engaged. That they are actually active and that they are interacting with communities and um, and the people in their home countries.
Finau Heuifanga Limuloa says all Red Cross societies, including in the Pacific, are given direction but this is the first time the Pacific representatives have set their own agenda.
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