ROME, NOVEMBER 21 – Prospects for cooperation between the Italian Cooperation Service and the IFRC were analysed in a the meeting between the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano and the newly elected head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)., Francesco Rocca. A specific focus was on migrants and humanitarian crises. Libya and the Rohingya situation were also discussed.
“I would like to congratulate you on your recent prestigious appointment as President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a strategic partner for the Italian Cooperation Service. We are confident that the relationship between our Development Cooperation and the IFRC will take on a broader scope as a result of your election”, Mr. Alfano said welcoming Mr Francesco Rocca, a lawyer and the President of the IFRC since 6 November.
Mr Rocca was elected by his peers from 178 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that were present at the IFRC General Assembly in Antalya, Turkey. Upon election he paid tribute to the courage and dedication of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world, and vowed to focus on ensuring they have greater support.
Mr Rocca’s election came at a critical juncture for the IFRC and the wider humanitarian community. Aid organizations are responding to a range of complex and global challenges, and are struggling to respond to rising needs while balancing increasingly constrained budgets. The new President will play an important role in ensuring that Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies can continue to support the most vulnerable and isolated.
Mr Rocca joined the Italian Red Cross in 2008, taking over as National President in 2013. He has built the Italian Red Cross into the country’s pre-eminent humanitarian organization, with Red Cross volunteers and staff playing leading roles in response to earthquakes and the ongoing arrival of vulnerable migrants. A lawyer by training, Rocca started his professional career fighting organized crime. He then moved into health administration. In 2013, he was elected Vice President for Europe of IFRC. (@OnuItalia)