Press Releases

         9 December 2005

    Secretary-General Delighted by Adoption of Red Crystal Emblem

    NEW YORK, 8 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General was delighted to learn of last night's decision by the signatory countries of the Geneva Conventions to adopt a non-denominational humanitarian emblem, the Red Crystal, in addition to the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

    He notes that this emblem will henceforth have the same legal significance, and enjoy the same legal protection, as both the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, which for over a century have symbolized the humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. He hopes that this will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement to become fully universal, and thus to bring aid and protection to the victims of war, natural disasters and other catastrophes more efficiently, wherever they may be. He hopes in particular that it will open the way for societies that are not yet formally part of the movement, such as the Israeli Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David), to be admitted as full members.

    He also hopes that the Palestinian Red Crescent Society will in due course be admitted to membership. In this connection, he welcomes last week's agreement on operational arrangements between these two societies.

    * *** *