Recognising the importance of volunteers for Red Cross Red Crescent , the International Federation made the following pledge to the 27th International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent in November 1999.
Volunteers are the most important strength of any National Society; they are "the power of humanity" and the champions of Red Cross Red Crescent humanitarian values.
The International Federation therefore pledges the following:
- to review the current situation of volunteers and identify areas where change is needed to improve services to beneficiaries, the status of volunteers and their role in the organization,
- to develop clear policies, guidelines and best management practices for volunteers which focus on human resources development,
- to ensure equal opportunities for men and women of all ages as volunteers in service delivery and National Society leadership, to bring about greater involvement of marginalized groups, and to provide the required support by paid staff,
- to cooperate with governments to broaden the existing legal, fiscal and political bases for volunteering, and to mobilize increased public support,
- to expand cooperation with other volunteer organizations at all levels, and play a significant role in the International Year of Volunteers in 2001.
Other pledges to humanity made by participants at the International Conference (governments, National Societies, the ICRC and observers) are available on the web site of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.