What is the International Conference ?
The Statutes of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement state "The International Conference is the supreme deliberative body for the Movement". At the International Conference, representatives of the components of the Movement meet with representatives of the States Party to the Geneva Conventions (…). Together they examine and decide upon humanitarian matters of common interest and any other related matter" (Art. 8).
The Conference meets - in principle - every four years. It brings together the
• Recognized Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (186)
• States party to the Geneva Conventions (194)
• International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
• International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Each of these members has one vote.
The Conference provides a non-political forum for dialogue on humanitarian matters of common interest and is an important humanitarian forum bringing States into dialogue with the components of the Movement.
How does it work ?
The Conference takes its decisions in the form of resolutions. In order to ensure Red Cross and Red Crescent unity of effort and respect for the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, as guided by the Statutes of the Movement: “The Conference shall endeavour to adopt its resolutions by consensus” (Art. 11(7), Statutes of the Movement).
In addition to drafting resolutions, any members or observers of the Conference can make individual or collective pledges
The Fundamental Principles - humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary status, unity and universality - adopted by the 20th International Conference (Vienna 1965) and revised by the 25th International Conference (Geneva 1986) are mandatory for all components of the Movement.
The Principles constitute the Movement's basic charter and they are read out at the opening of every Conference. Representatives of the States party to the Geneva Conventions, who attend the Conference, must respect the Fundamental Principles.