The full message of Mr. Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC Secretary General, reads as follows. At the congress, this message was read.
On behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the IFRC, it is my honour to provide some opening remarks to the International Health Congress on Arbaeen Hosseini. An event that is clearly so well organized by the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS). The IRCS is one of the IFRC’s 191 member National Societies and is the leading humanitarian organization in Iran, committed to support the national authorities during all types of emergencies and big events, such as this.
I would like to emphasize the strong role that the IRCS plays in responding to disasters, crises, as well as events at national, regional, and international levels. This also includes management and providing different services to one of the largest mass gatherings in the world. It is impressive to see how IRCS is able to mobilize such resources, both human and non-human ones, to support the national authorities and to ensure the safety of everyone gathering at such big events. From the start to finish the IRCS provides services such as welcoming and guiding visitors, offering essential commodities such as water, food, and shelter, highlighting risks and hazards and how to seek help. IRCS also promotes healthy practices during rituals, as well as the provision of emergency medical services and healthcare throughout the routes that visitors move through, as well as offering psychosocial support to all those in need. This is done in a professional manner by the IRCS through thousands of its staff and volunteers.
I am very aware of the challenges that can be encountered in managing such mass gathering events, and I very much respect the excellent job that all National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies undertake, and in doing so, being such a reliable and supportive partner to their respective national authorities.
I would like to express my great gratitude and appreciation to the IRCS’ staff, volunteers, youth members, and all scientific organizers for their great efforts in organizing this congress. I trust that with this platform, and through its scientific and operational initiatives, the congress will adopt a general policy and set a roadmap to achieve its targeted outcomes in reducing common diseases, accidents during mass gathering events, and reduce disasters and crisis related injuries and mortalities. The experiences that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies gain through managing and providing services during such big events is an excellent means of capacity building as well as supporting the enhancement of the abilities of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to further manage emergencies in more efficient and timely ways. The IRCS, in collaboration with other leading National Societies in the region, can play an essential role in supporting the building of capacities of otherNational Societies in different regions. It also provides an opportunity for humanitarian diplomacy as well where we promote the Fundamental Principles of voluntary service, humanity, neutrality and impartiality in rendering services to people in various contexts.
Herewith, I extend my thankfulness to you, dear President, the IRCS and all the organizers of this international congress, and I wish you a successful and fruitful event.