International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross

Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada

In This Issue:
Haiti: Health Care Heroes Honored after Earthquake
New ICRC Executive Team Assumes Office
Interview with Yves Daccord, ICRC's New Director-General
Diversity at the ICRC
New Video: Be Part of the Action
ICRC News from
Around the Globe
Our World At War: On the Move Out West
DRC - Ron Haviv, Our World at War
Our World At War is now on display at the Seattle Center in downtown Seattle, Washington, in cooperation with the American Red Cross Serving King and Kitsap Counties.
The show runs through
August 15 at the Harrison Street Gallery, located upstairs from the Food Court in the Center House (305 Harrison Street). The gallery is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
Many events open to the public have been organized relating to international humanitarian law and the impact of war on civilians. Visit the American Red Cross website to RSVP for these Seattle events.
On September 9, the show will open in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the campus of Harvard University. The ICRC is partnering with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative for this stage of the exhibition.
Stay tuned for more details.
International Review of the Red Cross, 2010 - No. 877
Theme: Women
International Review of the Red Cross - Women
Over the centuries, a perception of the main actors in warfare has been shaped by stereotypes of men as the aggressors and women as peace-loving and passive bystanders. However, the reality is women also take an active role in armed conflicts and have equal protection under international humanitarian law. Women also play important roles in the aftermath of armed conflicts as politicians and leaders of non-governmental organizations, social and political groups, and peace campaigners. Appropriate action requires a greater understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and the particular vulnerabilities they face.

A Manual to Support the National Implementation of Humanitarian Law
Manual to Support National Implementation of IHL
This manual is a practical tool to assist policy-makers, legislators, and other stakeholders worldwide in ratifying international humanitarian law (IHL) instruments. Drawing on the ICRC Advisory Service's 15 years of experience, the manual offers guidelines to help States implement IHL and meet all their obligations under IHL, particularly the repression of serious violations of it. 

Upcoming News & Events

One Step at a Time - James Nachtwey/ICRC/VII

Check our website for the latest news, as ICRC commemorates the upcoming dates with special features, photos, and more:
August 1: Entry into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions 
August 12: 61st Anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 
September 20 - 25: 15th Course in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for Humanitarian Professionals and Policy Makers in Naivasha, Kenya (Email us for the application materials.) 
October 31 - November 6:
Fourth Senior Workshop on International Rules governing Military Operations (SWIRMO) in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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ICRC Mission
The ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. 
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News and Notes
July 2010 

This month the ICRC announced three awardees of the prestigious Florence Nightingale Medal, given in honor of their exceptional courage and devotion in caring for the victims of the January 12 earthquake in HaitiClick to learn more and meet these individuals. 
Also, the Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada welcomes the ICRC's new executive management team, led by Director-General Yves Daccord. Read on to learn more about the people who will guide the ICRC for at least the next four years. We also share some insight into Mr. Daccord's thinking about the future in a short interview.
Next, in response to a reader's inquiry, we look the question of diversity at the ICRC. Did you know that while the ICRC was once an organization staffed exclusively by Swiss nationals, today our staff members represent more than 128 nationalities?
And lastly, we share the latest ICRC video that encourages you to "become part of the action." Watch it and find out more. It is available on our website as well as on YouTube
Please keep sending in your questions, comments, and suggestions for the newsletter. We love hearing from our readers! 
Kind regards,
The ICRC Washington Delegation
Haiti: Health Care Heroes Honored after Earthquake
Florence Nightengale Medal Awardee Michaëlle ColinExactly six months after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti, the ICRC announced that it is honoring three extraordinary health care workers for their unwavering commitment to helping the sick and wounded.

Michaëlle Colin, Germaine Pierre-Louis, and Jude Célorge will be presented with the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest distinction a nurse or voluntary nursing aide working in armed conflict or natural disaster can receive, at a ceremony in Port-au-Prince in August.
Michaëlle Colin has been a nurse since 1980 and is currently the chief nurse at the Port-au-Prince Sanatorium, which treats patients suffering from tuberculosis. Following the earthquake, she worked tirelessly to ensure that the sanatorium's patients would continue to receive treatment and that first aid would be available in her local community.
Germaine Pierre-Louis is the president of the south-east regional branch of the Haitian National Red Cross Society. In the aftermath of the earthquake, she organized the search for survivors trapped in the rubble and arranged for them to be taken to hospital. She helped her local hospital to keep functioning and organized emergency first-aid services in her community.
Jude Célorge joined the Haitian National Red Cross Society in the Martissant area as a volunteer coordinating emergency first-aid services and the evacuation of injured and sick people. With admirable resourcefulness, he took action to rescue people trapped in the rubble in his neighborhood and arranged for help to be sent to other hard-hit communities.

The Florence Nightingale Medal, normally awarded in odd-numbered years, is being given exceptionally in 2010 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale, who achieved legendary status during her own lifetime thanks to her work advancing the nursing profession and health care in general.

To learn more about these courageous individuals and their heroic acts, click here.

New ICRC Executive Team Assumes Office
From left to right: Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Philip Spoerri, Helen Alderson, Yves Daccord, Pierre Krähenbühl, Caroline Welch-Ballentine
ICRC's New Executive Management Team
On July 1, the ICRC's new executive team - or Directorate in ICRC parlance - took office.
The team comprises six executives, each appointed for a four-year renewable term.  
  • Yves Daccord takes over as Director-General after having served as ICRC director of communication since 2002. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Yves.
  • Pierre Krähenbühl will continue as Director of Operations, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Krähenbühl is well known to North American audiences due to his frequent visits and public speaking events.
  • Helen Alderson is the new Director of Financial Resources and Logistics. Ms. Alderson is coming to the ICRC from the World Heart Federation and previously worked for the ICRC.
  • Caroline Welch-Ballentine takes over as Director of Human Resources. Ms. Welch-Ballentine is coming to the ICRC from the private sector, most recently from Alcoa, Inc.
  • Philip Spoerri has been appointed for a further term as Director for International Law and Cooperation, a post he has held since 2006.
  • Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet is the new Director of Communication and Information Management. Ms. Lindsey-Curtet was most recently the ICRC's Deputy Director of Communication. 
"I am looking forward to working on such a high-caliber team," said Mr. Daccord. "We can provide the ICRC with the leadership it needs to meet the ever more complex challenges facing it. Fortunately, we will be able to build on the work of the outgoing Directorate headed by Director-General Angelo Gnaedinger."
Interview with Yves Daccord, ICRC's New Director-General  
ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord

At its Assembly meeting on November 11, 2009, the ICRC appointed Yves Daccord to the post of Director-General. Previously, Mr. Daccord served as the ICRC's Director of Communication and in numerous other posts in the field and in Geneva.
He officially assumed his new role on July 1, 2010. Mr. Daccord recently sat down to answer a few questions for our newsletter subscribers:
What is the role of the Director-General of the ICRC?
The Director-General of the ICRC has two main responsibilities. The first is for the overall administration of the ICRC, for which I am held accountable by the Assembly, which serves as a kind of board of directors. The second and most important is to be the head of the executive management team, to make sure that I have the right people on the team, to make sure that the team works well, that it chooses the right priorities, and steers the organization in the right direction. 
Do you foresee major shifts or changes in direction for the ICRC? Will the ship, so to speak, stay on the same course?
The ship will stay pretty much on the same course, but with two big changes. One, the ship will be perhaps slightly faster. We are living in a world that requires us to be a bit more bold and a bit quicker from time to time. The ICRC's ability to manage time will be reexamined. I want the ICRC to improve its strategic planning, look ahead four to five years, and create more tailored approaches to situations. 
Second, the team on the ship will also change. We will change our human resources policy and the way we manage talent. This is an enormous yet critical undertaking. The ICRC has a remarkable team of staff but there is room to evolve how staff members relate to the organization and vice versa, and how we can make better use of local competencies. 
What will be your top priority for your first four-year term? 
People management, clearly, will be my top priority. Next, I take the ICRC's ability to reinforce its position on the ground very seriously. The ICRC's added-value is in the way we operate on the ground very close to the people affected by armed conflict. It is essential that the way we operate, the way we look at vulnerability, allows us to remain very close to these people and be in a position to deliver the services required.

Diversity at the ICRC
Dear newsletter reader in Washington, DC,
In response to your question about ICRC's legal status and the diversity of its staff, we offer the following explanation.
Thank you again for your inquiry and interest in the work of the ICRC! 
- - - - - 
An ICRC delegate in North-West Frontier Province, PakistanThe ICRC is a private Swiss organization that
has a mandate from the international community of States founded on international law, specifically the Geneva Conventions. This hybrid nature makes the ICRC unique. It is recognized as having an "international legal personality," meaning that while a private organization, the ICRC is not treated legally as a private entity or an NGO, but as an intergovernmental organization in terms of immunities and privileges for the work it does under its international mandate.
Until the early 1990s, ICRC expatriate staff were exclusively Swiss, primarily for historical reasons relating to Switzerland's leading role in the founding of the Red Cross Movement. Seeking to benefit from expertise in the international community, the ICRC began a recruitment process to internationalize its workforce. Currently, the overall percentage of Swiss delegates within the ICRC is approximately 40%. Of the 114 delegates recruited in 2009, just 14% were Swiss (86% were non-Swiss) and 20% were recruited through National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. At ICRC headquarters, 68 nationalities are represented, and in the field the figure increases to 128.
While its workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, the ICRC needs to ensure that it is accepted in the territories in which it works. An ICRC nurse at work in ColombiaPersonnel bearing certain passports cannot be assigned to some conflict situations because their nationalities may be negatively perceived by the authorities of a State or the leaders of an armed movement.

As it evolves and adapts, the ICRC must make allowances for these realities in its recruitment, assignment, and long-term human resources management policies. It must also ensure the security of its staff members and guarantee the independence of its activities.
New Video: Be Part of the Action  
Working for the ICRC: Be Part of the Action
Last month we explored what it takes to work for the ICRC and this month we share with you the many diverse faces of our staff.
Watch this new video that highlights how the ICRC works and what it takes to be a delegate. The short film showcases five top-level ICRC managers as they discuss their impressions and ICRC field experiences.