Turkey’s Kınık to head Red Cross, Red Crescent societies in Europe
ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
The head of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerem Kınık, has been elected vice president responsible for the European region of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Kınık was elected on Nov. 6 to a four-year term by 116 votes out of 189 in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, where Italy’s Francesco Rocca was elected as the new head of the IFRC.
Kınık will be responsible for 53 countries in the European zone.
“This honor is an honor for us all. It is the honor of our honorific President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Kınık told a press conference announcing the election results.
“The Turkish Red Crescent started down a new path together with new solution proposals for humanity,” he said.
Turkey was “already working in the ‘geography of our heart,’ and from now on a new platform opened for us. In this sense we will also carry Turkey’s and the Turkish Red Crescent’s approaches to Europe. We will do our best to strengthen this movement and prevent human suffering,” he added.
Nearly 1,500 ambassadors from 189 countries voted for a new IFRC president as well as four vice presidents and board members, who will serve the organization for the next four years.
Outgoing IFRC head Tadateru Konoe was succeeded by Rocca, who won with 98 votes.
At a press conference, Rocca lauded the meeting in Antalya, calling it a success for the Turkish Red Crescent and its staff.
Rocca 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.
“One of the first things I will focus on is addressing any integrity issues within our network. We owe it to our volunteers who risk their lives every day. We owe it to the communities who look to us for support, when no one else can help. And we owe it to the people around the world who look to the Red Cross and Red Crescent as signs of hope,” Rocca said.
Senegal’s Abdoul Azize Diallo, running unopposed, was elected vice president responsible for the African continent.
Venezuela’s Miguel Angel Villarroel Sierraalta was elected vice president responsible for the Americas.
The Asia Pacific region’s vice presidency was won by Chen Zhu of China.