At the invitation of the Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRC), the delegation of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBIH), composed of RCSBIH President, Mr. Rajko Lazić, Secretary General, Mr. Branko Leko and the Co-ordinator for International Cooperation and Assistant Secretary General Ms. Žaklina Ninković attended, as a guest, a meeting for the establishment of the Network of NSs of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) member countries.
The meeting was held from 28-29 January 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. During the forum, the President of the Republic of Turkey and Honorary President of the TRC addressed the audience. H.E Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his speech talked about the cuurrent situation regarding the conflict in Syria, stressed the importance of the work of national RC/RC societies in providing humanitarian assistance in natural and man-made disasters. At the meeting, chaired by the President of TRC and the Vice-President of the IFRC for Europe, Dr. Kerem Kinik, the following speakers addressed to the audience: Secretary General of the IFRC, Mr. Elhadj As Sy, vice president of ICRC , Mr. Gilles Carbonnier, Member of the Standing Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Mr. Ibrahim Osman (acting as the representative of the Chairman of the Standing Committee RC/RC), ICIC President (Islamic Committee of the International Crescent) Ambassador Ali Budehma and Director of Legal Affairs of the OIC, Ambassador Hassan Ali Hassa.
OIC member countries speakers highlighted that these countries face unprecedented challenges due to natural and man-made crises, and that 71 percent of affected population (around 89 million) live in OIC countries. National associations of RC , as subsidiary bodies to their authorities, fulfill their key humanitarian role in the protection and assistance to vulnerable people in OIC member countries. In that sense, strengthening the role of national RC and RC societies is much more necessary than ever before. However, their capacities have been reduced, given the very large impact of disasters on the wider scale and urgent needs of the affected population. It was emphasized that, at this moment, it is of great importance for the national societies of the RC in the member countries of the OIC to support the capacities of each other and provide, through their collective efforts, the provision of legal, program and financial assistance for their humanitarian activities and to jointly participate with their governments in support of their mission. In order to meet such needs, a Network of National Red Cross / Red Crescent Societies of the OIC member countries was established in order to enhance cooperation and ensure the collectivity and complementarity among them in addressing vulnerability and improving resilience at the social and organizational level.
During this meeting, RCSBIH delegation held a series of bilateral meetings with representatives of sister national RC/RC societies, IFRC, ICRC and representatives of the Arab Red Cross / Red Crescent Organization (ARCO), and at the meetings with the RC of Russia and Kuwait RC proposed s signing a Memorandum of Understanding and working on joint projects. On this occasion, our delegation talked with colleagues from the Turkish Red Crescent Society about new project activities aimed at intensifying and deepening bilateral cooperation, which was officially signed by the Memorandum of Understanding in August 2017.