Held every two years, the General Assembly and Council of Delegates are the key decision-making meetings of the International Federation and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. This year the meetings took place in mid-November, in Sydney, Australia.
Over the last two years, DiploFoundation has worked with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to develop and run a 3-month online diploma course in Humanitarian Diplomacy. The course was presented at the ‘Speakers’ Corner’ during the conference by the lead lecturer, Ambassador Christopher Lamb and by Mr Nicolas Mbako of the Cameroon Red Cross Society, and alumni member from the first course session.
Ambassador Lamb pointed out that this course is aimed at people both within the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) movement, and working with other humanitarian organisations worldwide. It has also attracted participants from governments, international organisations, and the private sector, and should be of interest to anyone who is or might be involved in negotiating and implementing formal or informal agreements related to humanitarian affairs.
Mr Mbako talked about his own experiences in the course, saying he had found the course particularly helpful to him in his work in the Cameroon Red Cross Society. He emphasised the way that the learning from the course is supplemented by exchanges of experience and practical knowledge with other course participants.
The meeting also provided an excellent opportunity for alumni members from the different course sessions, as well as some of the course lecturers, to meet in person. Studying online together in a Diplo course is an intensive experience: as one participant in the February 2013 session commented, I was amazed at the ‘real class’ feeling of this course. The chance to share experiences over a cup of coffee added the one element that cannot be replicated online!