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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 2012

Speech by Mr. Peter Maurer

Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Together with my friend and colleague Tadateru Konoé of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

I would like to dedicate the award to the staff and volunteers of the Movement who have lost their lives in recent months trying to save the lives of others.

In Pakistan, Yemen and Syria, to mention just a few places, we have suffered losses that are tragic for two reasons.

First, because talented and selfless persons were taken from us far too soon. And second, because hundreds, perhaps thousands of people are now left without help as a result of these tragic losses.

I therefore call upon all armed forces and all armed groups, politicians and local leaders to allow not only Red Cross and Red Crescent workers, but everyone seeking to alleviate human suffering in an impartial manner, to perform their tasks in safety.

In particular, local nurses, paramedics and doctors must be allowed to carry out their neutral and impartial work free from pressure and free from attacks.

That is what is required to preserve some measure of humanity when disaster strikes.

Thank you.

Speech by Mr. Tadateru Konoé

Your Royal Highness,


distinguished guests,

It is a great honour to accept this award on behalf of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, alongside my friend Mr. Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC. Thank you, Mr. Maurer, for dedicating the award to the brave Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers and staff who have died in the line of their humanitarian duty this year. Their devoted service will never be forgotten.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement forms the largest humanitarian network in the world that embodies, on a daily basis, the power of our humanity.

At the heart of the Movement are more than thirteen million active volunteers who provide life-saving and life-changing services in communities across the world. In the face of wars, disasters, poverty, violence, exclusion or stigmatisation, they show in action that we can all be part of the solution when it comes to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, and to make this world a better world.

I sincerely thank you for the recognition of our services and your support to them.

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