MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT
It is always a pleasure for me to write this Report. This is because it gives me an opportunity to reflect on our Society, our work, our achievements and to contemplate where we go from here. Circumstances evolve of course and it is our challenge to remain focused on our objectives, maintaining and improving our standards when carrying out our work and to abide by our Fundamental Principles at all times.
Before writing this, I read my Report for 2008. What was most pleasing when I did that is that it enabled me to gauge our successes and our challenges. Did we live up to the goals we had set for ourselves?
I am extremely proud to say that, while we may not have achieved all of what we had set out to do, we can justifiably say that we reached some significant milestones that are worthy of note. For this, recognition must be accorded to our Director General, staff, branches and volunteers as well as our National Board.
We, together with our regional National Societies, had set out to achieve greater regional cooperation, unity and commonality. This goal was set at our regional meeting in Vanuatu in April 2008. I am extremely proud to report that, thanks to the New Zealand Red Cross, we turned this goal into a reality at our regional meeting i.e. the Leadership Forum, held in Auckland in October 2009. At that meeting, we sat down as a region and discussed, debated and reached consensus on what the Pacific’s position would be on key issues to be determined at the General Assembly and Council of Delegates Meeting in Nairobi in November 2009.
The Pacific Group was unique and stood out at the Nairobi meetings because our voice was heard on all the key decisions reached there. When one Pacific National Society spoke at a key session, that Society spoke on behalf of all of us; this had an enormous impact on all those present because we were the only region that spoke as one. Our force in numbers resulted in our positions and views affecting key policy and other decisions on Climate Change, HIV/AIDS and Migration to name a few. In all of my time with Red Cross, I had never seen this happen before. This meeting was also significant because a person from our region was, for the first time, elected President of the International Federation. I speak, of course, of Mr Tadateru Konoé, President of Japan Red Cross.
We should also be proud of our participation in helping the International Federation complete “Strategy 2020”.
This plan sets out the broad goals and parameters of our functions as a Global Movement. It is an extremely important document because it helps determine our duties and objectives as a National Society. It identifies where we currently stand as a Movement, gives guidance about what we can do to better carry out our work and it develops what we strive to do to remain able to meet all of the challenges we face. I encourage all of us to read it.
If I had to single out one thing as representative of our growth and development as a National Society (it is difficult given the great work our Society does), it would have to be our work in completing our Strategic Plan 2010-2014. The task of completing this fell to every level of our National Society, from Branches and our volunteers, to our external stakeholders up to our National Board. In other words, everyone was involved in shaping it. We should be justly proud of what was achieved in putting this together. A very strong illustration of how engaged we were at all levels was the formulation of our “Mission” and “Vision”. When National Board considered this issue, we were conservative and of the view that the existing wording accurately captured our National Society. When our “grassroots” considered this, what resulted was completely different and a vast improvement. I say this because our “Mission” and “Vision” as articulated in our Strategic Plan beautifully captures what we are about. I wish to sincerely thank all of our members and staff for making this such a success. I must single out Mr. Terry Butt for special praise because it was through his dedicated and hard work that we have achieved such a fantastic living document.
Of course, serious work remains. We must fulfill all of the goals we have set.
Notable among these is the creation of an IHL Committee; we are committed to start the process this year. We will work very closely with Government to make this a reality. We must also strive to incorporate our Youth more effectively- we have made that commitment and must follow through with it. I have every confidence that the new National Board, together with our Director General, the National Society staff and our branches and volunteers will continue the great work and ensure our continued growth.
I wish you all the very best.
William Wylie Clarke