A delegation from the Pacific Regional Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (I.C.R.C.) in Suva, led by Cooperation delegate Mr. Nima Dadbin and Ms Christine Reddy, were in Samoa last week for their usual annual visit to the Samoa Red Cross Society (S.R.C.S.), through reciprocal cooperation and partnership between members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The visiting delegation and members of the S.R.C.S. Governing Board, had the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, Afioga Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, the Attorney General, Afioga Lemalu Herman Retzlaff and the Acting Commissioner of Police, Afioga Afamasaga Michael Soonalole, to acknowledge and further discuss matters regarding the:
(i) development and achievements by the Samoan Government to domesticate the International Humanitarian Law (I.H.L.); the Geneva Conventions 1949 and its Two Additional Protocols, 2015, updating the amended Samoa Red Cross Act 1993;
(ii) re launch of the I.H.L. Handbook for Parliamentarians for information and awareness of our newly elected members of Parliament;
(iii) re activation of the National I.H.L. Committee;
(iv) presentation of the Final Report on the International Disaster Response Law (I.D.R.L.) Study done in Samoa by Tōfā Leafa Donald Kerslake, supported by the I.F.R.C.;
(v) S.R.C.S. proposal for government assistance, through their reciprocal auxiliary partnership, in the humanitarian field, providing annual core costs for office operations.
The Prime Minister, in his response to the I.C.R.C.’s recognition of the Samoan Government’s improvement in the Pacific said, “I am glad to hear your admittance of Samoa’s advancement, I have directed the Samoan U.N. Mission in New York, to be quick in signing international agreements.”
From the outset, S.R.C.S. was created through Act of Parliament (1983 MoU), it was then recognized as a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement after the Samoan Government ratified the Geneva Convention of 1949 and its Two Additional Protocols in 1984.
This thus, was the start of years of service to the most vulnerable people as an independent organization, auxiliary to the government.
Hence the S.R.C.S. seeking assistance from government to improve and expand their services for the people of Samoa in the humanitarian field.