The biennial General Assembly of Green Cross International (GCI), held on 15-16 January in Geneva, reviewed the priorities and programmes of the global network to build on its niche activities.
As the first order of business, the Assembly – led by President Gorbachev, the Founding President and the Board Chairman Dr. Jan Kulczyk – adopted a statement on Haiti. Nearly 100 delegates from 23 of the 29 Green Cross national organisations urged world leaders to speed up preparedness to natural calamites as part of responding to climate change.
Among the keynote opening speakers were Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union and the newest member to join the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF). Both speakers outlined the importance of a timely and adequate global response to climate change within the extended one year deadline from Copenhagen.
The accent on promoting renewable sources energy and cutting down consumption of fossil fuels was prioritised in the programmes and strategic activities of Green Cross
Participants vote during the General Assembly national organisations. The Assembly decided to encourage partnerships that respond to climate change mitigation and adaptation needs.
The Green Cross national organisations will continue working on international Programmes. They discussed plans to strengthen them. These include focus areas such as Water; the Legacy of the Cold War (reduction of threats from nuclear and chemical weapons stockpiles); the Social, Medical and Education (SocMed) programme related to catastrophes such as Chernobyl and Agent Orange in Vietnam; the Smart Energy programme; and the Education and Value Change programme.
On the organisational front, the Assembly adopted a new Charter, refined over the last two years, to reflect the growing strength and complexity of the network. Sri Lanka and Australia were welcomed as full-fledged Green Cross members while Ghana was affirmed as being in the process of becoming a member.
Professor Mohan Munasinghe, a renowned climate scholar and IPCC member, was welcomed as a member of the GCI Board. The GCI Board of Directors, shaped by the General Assembly, now consists of:
- Mikhail Gorbachev, Founding President
- Dr. Jan Kulczyk, Chairman
- Alexander Likhotal, President
- Sander Mallien, Treasurer & Green Cross Switzerland President
- Mohan Munasinghe, Member of the IPCC and member of CCTF
- Mario Soares, former President of Portugal
- Sergey Baranovskiy, Green Cross Russia President
- Celso Luiz Claro de Oliveira, Green Cross Brazil President
- Ousséni Diallo, Green Cross Burkina Faso CEO
- Shoo Iwasaki, Green Cross Japan President
- Scott Seydel, Global Green USA Chairman