Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graced the launch of the Bhutan Red Cross Society, coinciding with the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Day on 8th May 2017. Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Addressed the event.
The launch was attended by the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Her Excellency Annemarie Huber-Hotz, the Vice President of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent, as well as the regional heads of the IFRC and ICRC.
The World Red Cross & Red Crescent Day is observed globally on the birth anniversary of the founder, Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman born in 1828.
This year, the theme for the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is ‘Everywhere for Everyone’.
The Bhutan Red Cross Society (BCRS) is an autonomous and not-for–profit organization established under the Bhutan Red Cross Society Act 2016. It is a voluntary aid society, auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, having the mandates to save lives, protect livelihoods and strengthen recovery from disasters; to enable healthy and safe living; and to promote social inclusion and culture of care and protection. The BRCS is part of a network of the movement with 190 countries having an establishment of a Red Cross or a Red Crescent National Society.
The BCRS strives to establish a network of members and volunteers in communities throughout Bhutan to provide services in the areas of social inclusion, health, and disaster risk management that are complimentary to those of the Royal Government and other organizations.
Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen is the President of the Bhutan Red Cross Society.
Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen’s Address at the launch of the Bhutan Red Cross Society
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, I am deeply pleased to address the inaugural ceremony of the Bhutan Red Cross Society.
It is befitting that we celebrate this launch on the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, honouring the visionary Swiss businessman, Henry Dunant.
It was in 1859 that he bore witness to the profound depths of human suffering in the Battle of Solferino. This experience propelled him to actions that ultimately led to the creation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Through the years, this movement has persisted to inspire millions across the world in the service of peace, philanthropy and humanitarian values.
Today is also a day to honour the multitudes of staff and volunteers that operate in 190 countries. I am happy that on this day, Bhutan joins the International Red Cross and Red Crescent family, having been a signatory and ratifying the Geneva Conventions since 1991.
We now become part of a global movement that is as resilient as it is dynamic. This is evident in the manner in which the Red Cross organization has, in different regions, adapted its vocation to supplement efforts that address the pressing needs of that particular community and country. These endeavors include any manner of response – be it in times of emergencies and disaster, or to energize efforts towards social inclusion, health care and climate change.
The true and enduring spirit of this movement remains the motivation that its founder experienced more than a century ago – that is, a deep compassion for the suffering of humanity and the selfless motivation to alleviate it. The activities of the various societies across the world are as diverse as its reach but it is united by the foundational values that guide the Red Cross, affirmed as the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
These seven principles represent timeless morals and it deeply resonates with Bhutan’s own guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which places human welfare as the most vital objective of the Royal Government.
It has, as our National conscience, guided our Kingdom to build a society that places collective well-being above oneself and inspires us to serve humanity with kindness, integrity and strength of heart.
His Majesty The King has always reminded us that any real and lasting solution to global issues can only come through a universal wave of human empathy, desire and passion for the common good. That our duty should not be only to oneself, or to one’s family and country but that we must build from these true and intimate relationships, outwards and upwards to the nobler duty to the greater world and to peace, prosperity and happiness that is global.
I am confident that the Bhutan Red Cross Society will greatly supplement the efforts of the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Desuung and various other organizations and CSO’s who have pledged their time and service in the spirit of equality, active participation and volunteerism.
I would like to express our appreciation to the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Members of the Working Committee for your contributions and vital efforts towards the formation of the Society.
I also extend our gratitude to the Swiss Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent for your invaluable support in the establishment of the Bhutan Red Cross Society.
I hope that our future work and shared experiences will add greatly to the already existing achievements of the Red Cross. I look forward to innovative and new initiatives to enrich and protect human dignity– an endeavor that, without question, has and shall always be embodied by the Red Cross organization.
Thank you all for being here today.