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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sir Peter Kenilorea commends work of Red Cross

Speaker of Parliament Sir Peter Kenilorea yesterday spoke highly of the work of the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society.

Opening the organisation's General Assembly Meeting in Honiara, Sir Peter said Red Cross has always been the leader in the delivery of humanitarian services and a pacesetter for reform and innovation in the country.

Solomon Islands Red Cross was a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). ICRC was established in 1863, with a charter to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and violence and to provide them with assistance. Today Red Cross operates in more than 80 countries and is committed to alleviating human suffering. The Solomon Islands Red Cross is now into its 23 years of operations in the country.

Sir Peter said Solomon Islanders have all been recipients in one way or another of this wonderful work of Red Cross. "Thanks to the work of you and your predecessors, the quantum of human distress over the 23 years of work in the country is incalculable. "You can stand proud as a society by your many achievements throughout the years. "I am sure that, guided by your fundamental principles, you will continue to succeed," Sir Peter told local Red Cross officials and volunteers who gathered for the meeting yesterday.

He said the Red Cross society has indeed taken the initiative to step up in times of need to address all humanitarian issues as well as echoing it to the nation. "As Solomon Islands and our people recover from the sad effects of the ethnic tension and the recent so-called 'Black Tuesday', the unfailing assistance by the Red Cross became real and purposeful to those who were given some measure of help, in their time of desperate need. "When fear, confusion and frustration gripped the entire nation, your ability to provide relief and assistance gave us all hope," Sir Peter told delegates.

Sir Peter also commended Red Cross's blood bank through which, he said countless people have received the precious gift of life, while others are able to enjoy a much-improved quality of life through regular treatment. "Like all other Red Cross work, the provision of blood services has extended far beyond the war time origins of Red Cross. "This work is part of the great humanitarian endeavour that makes our society a better place which in turn makes a huge difference to the global and national social condition," Sir Peter said.

The parliament speaker said he is also encouraged that the Solomon Islands Red Cross is not standing still. "I applaud the fact you have continued to take steps to ensure that you develop the best organisational framework to meet new demands. "Important events such as this General Assembly meeting will help equip you to handle an increasing and more complex workload," he said. Sir Peter added that all organisations involved in delivering critical services to vulnerable people have an obligation to relentlessly drive for efficiencies in service delivery. "In this you face the same challenges as does our government. "We must not just be champions of high standards and advocate for those in need, we must also be pace-setters in good management practice to ensure that the highest level of resources are available to benefit people on the ground.

"I see this as the biggest challenge for our country and for the Solomon Islands Red Cross. "Keep true to your principles and your mission, be compassionate and humanitarian in your service delivery, but at the same time ensure that you are a professional, efficient, transparent and accountable organisation."

Sir Peter said Solomon Islands Red Cross is already a leader in the non-profit sector in transparency and accountability in all the work that it undertakes. "But let us seek to take the organisation to higher levels of achievement and recognition. "Never has this been as important as it is now."

Source: Solomon Star

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