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Transparency, accountability key for Red Cross endurance: ICRC president


13:18, May 16, 2013

BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) -- A top International Red Cross official said transparency and accountability are a must for Red Cross's endurance.

"It goes without saying. It is very important that we focus more on transparency and accountability today when people have a broader call for knowledge about their donations," said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).

Transparency and accountability, as well as neutral, impartial and independent working approaches, have helped the ICRC to establish an enduring image, Maurer said in an interview conducted one week after the 150th anniversary of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

But Maurer said there is no clear-cut definition for accountability and transparency standards, adding that the Red Cross societies of different countries can easily differ in this aspect, as they have different focuses in their work.

He said the ICRC mainly focuses on cooperating with national Red Cross societies in the event of an armed conflict or similarly violent incidents.

"But we do have a certain experience in both balancing the two polarities between the state and society, as well as the aspect of handling money, in an environment where accountability is more necessary," he said.

The president said that if national Red Cross societies want support related to management, handling money and introducing precautionary measures, the ICRC and the federation of the Red Cross are ready to make their experience with accountability and transparency available.

Maurer said the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has great experience in disaster relief and bringing medical care to people in need through the creation of mobile medical clinics, adding that he hopes to find out how the experience gained by the RCSC can be used in international operations.

He also praised the RCSC's contributions in promoting international Red Cross exchanges and establishing platforms for aiding Africa.

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