Arne Osland (Director of Development) and Richard Lamont (Rektor) were invited by Liv Ronglan (RCN’s Norwegian Red Cross Board Member) to visit Geneva for a two day programme which included meetings at the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This provided the opportunity to connect RCN and its work with the Red Cross at an international level, to forge fresh partnerships and to plan joint projects. The high light of the trip was a 90 minute meeting with Yves Daccord, the Director General of the ICRC, in his office. The discussion covered ethical leadership, RCN and its potential contribution, the changing landscape of humanitarian aid, and the challenges ahead for ICRC – from the Middle East to digital developments.

The Norwegian Red Cross had also organized a parallel familiarization programme for a delegation of partners from Norway – from DNB to Tine. There were presentations on Red Cross work ‘on the ground’ in the Ukraine, Syria and Nepal.

It was also the 8th May on the second day of the visit – International Red Cross Day. Buses in the city were decorated with Red Cross and a crescent flags as part of the celebrations.

A meeting was also held with Max Deneu, the Director of the Special Fund for the Disabled. A key contributor to RCN’s ‘Survivors of Conflict Programme’, he discussed with the RCN delegation the possibility of expanding the number of participants on the programme and extending the criteria to include others with disabilities.

UNHCR hosted the RCN delegation for a meeting to discuss the possibility of forging a partnership with RCN and UWC with a special focus on the provision of education for refugees at upper secondary and tertiary levels. The dialogue was very stimulating with a clear signal that a partnership would be mutually beneficial.

All in all, the visit was extremely engaging with lots of possibilities ahead as RCN seeks to develop further its partnership with the Red Cross.