Role & Mandate of the Standing Commission
The Standing Commission’s raison d´être is to act as the trustee of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which is the highest deliberative body of the Movement, meeting every four years. Between Conferences, the Standing Commission provides strategic guidance in the interest of all components of the Movement. Its functions are defined in article 18 of the Statutes of the Movement and have been further developed in Council of Delegates (CoD) and International Conference resolutions.
In addition to its responsibilities regarding arrangements for International Conferences and meetings of the Council, the Standing Commission shall
- promote harmony in the work of the Movement and, in this connection, coordination among its components;
- encourage and further the implementation of resolutions of the International Conference;
- examine, with these objects in view, matters which concern the Movement as a whole.
A further purpose is, in consultation with the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and National Societies, to provide strategic guidance in matters, which concern the Movement as a whole. It is not operational. It prepares Movement-wide policies such as the Strategy for the Movement, which aim at harmonious coordination and cohesion in action, building on the strengths and specific mandates of each component.
It is the one body on a permanent basis for the Movement where all components are represented and which meets regularly.
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 various issues, the Commission emphasises the importance of the participation of and consultation with National Societies in order to stay in touch with their realities and with external developments when positioning the Movement to best serve victims and other beneficiaries.
For this purpose, there were four different ad hoc working groups in action until the end of 2005, established by the Commission as advisory bodies on the emblem, the Seville Agreement, the Strategy for the Movement and for planning of the Statutory Meetings. The groups involved members, appointed ad personam, from some 30 National Societies representing all geographical regions. As of January 2006, two working groups are continuing in their function.
The Commission’s main functions are described in Article 18 of the Statutes of the Movement. In addition to the framework provided by the Statutes, the Council of Delegates and the International Conference have in various resolutions requested the Commission to lead on specific tasks. In addition to the set statutory tasks, its main additional functions in recent years can briefly be summarised as follows:
- to encourage the implementation of the resolutions of the International Conference and the Council of Delegates
(Art. 18, CoD Resolution 3/95, 27th and 28th IC Resolutions 1/99&03);
- to ensure promotion of the Strategy for the Movement and monitor, evaluate and analyse progress made in its implementation by all components (CoD Resolutions 3/01and 7/03);
- to continue to give high priority to securing a comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of the emblem
(CoD Resolutions 3/95, 2/97, 2/99, 6/01, 5/03 and International Conference Resolutions 3/99 and 3/03);
- to contribute to the development of effective international relief operations
(CoD Resolutions 2/03, 5/99),
- to monitor the implementation of the Seville Agreement and to analyse challenges in the implementation of it and develop ways to enhance and strengthen cooperation within the framework of the Agreement
(CoD Resolution 8/03).