Dr. Noam Yifrach, Chairman of MDA Executive Committee: "This is a historic and important decision rectifying an injustice after a long, right and obstinate struggle of about six decades, to obtain international recognition of the widespread humanitarian activities of MDA, Israel’s national medical emergency society, worldwide.
The 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent that convened last Sunday at the International Conference Center in Geneva, decided today, at 02:00 AM, to accept Magen David Adom, the National Medical Emergency Society of the State of Israel, into the ranks of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Conference was convened following the successful Diplomatic Conference of the States at the beginning of December 2005, which approved the III Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, recognizing the additional, neutral emblem for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the shape of a red crystal. Accepting the emblem of the crystal in addition to the two recognized Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems, actually paved the way for the inclusion tonight of MDA in the International Movement.
The resolution was passed in a vote of 237 in favor, 54 against and 18 abstentions after lengthy discussions over the period of two days, with the participation of representatives of 192 countries and 183 Societies, while the Muslim countries tried to torpedo the acceptance of MDA into the Movement, refusing all offers of a compromise and last minute mediation, and opposed the move. Within the framework of the agreement understandings were consolidated between the Palestine Red Crescent Society, in the spirit of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, that will deepen the cooperation between the medical teams of both societies in order to facilitate free movement at all times and places without restrictions or obstacles.
At MDA stressed that it would maintain the emblem of the Red Shield of David and the ambulances of the organization, as well as the uniforms of the employees, will
continue to use proudly and prominently, in their activities in Israel the emblem of the society – the Red Shield of David. Only when participating in international activities abroad, MDA can choose to use the universal crystal with the Red Shield of David inside or alongside the crystal. By using the crystal, MDA will also be able to actively participate in lifesaving activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent worldwide, function under its protection and participate in the deliberations of the Movement, as full members.
Dr. Noam Yifrach, Chairman MDA Executive Committee, stated that the acceptance of MDA was made possible thanks to the lengthy diplomatic efforts of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On its part, MDA made a long list of organizational modifications, including the amendment of its by-laws according to the requirements of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Thanks to its acceptance into the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement MDA will be entitled to various grants thereby improving the standard of the emergency medical and blood services provided to the population in Israel, expand the universality of MDA’s international humanitarian activities to important fields of activity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide and strengthen the cooperation between MDA and the other National Societies that are members of the Movement.