CARE International presents 60th anniversary declaration to UNHCR
GENEVA, October 17 (UNHCR) - UNHCR's important relationship with CARE International was highlighted in Geneva on Tuesday when a top-level delegation presented High Commissioner António Guterres with a special declaration marking the non-governmental organisation's 60th anniversary.
CARE is this year emphasising the key role of women in breaking the cycle of poverty and has adopted the anniversary declaration, "Women Care." CARE International Vice-Chairperson Marina de Brantes and Secretary General Denis Caillaux presented the declaration to Guterres during a meeting in the refugee agency's headquarters building.
The declaration, signed by more than 60 prominent women from around the globe, calls on political, religious and cultural leaders to fulfil their commitments towards the Millennium Development Goals and to place special focus on improving the condition of women worldwide.
"We wanted to present the declaration to the United Nations at large. But within the United Nations we wanted to select an entity, a specific part of the UN that would exemplify best the partnership that we have in mind and that we have had for a number of years, so in that sense UNHCR was a natural partner for us," Caillaux said after the meeting.
Both sides stressed the importance of their relationship and said they hoped it would continue long into the future. "CARE is a very important partner of UNHCR and we are very happy to be able to work with them on a permanent basis," the High Commissioner said. "It is for us a reason for great joy, the 60th anniversary of CARE, and also the fact that this anniversary is underlined by a very important declaration on women's rights and in particular on the need to mobilise the social community against violence against women.
Guterres said UNHCR has a very strong commitment in its activities to the age, gender and diversity accountability framework. "Alliances that can be established with organisations like CARE are very important for us," he added.
In the past 12 years, UNHCR has channelled almost US$210 million through members of the CARE federation for projects in areas such as logistics and transport, agency operational support, food, shelter, water, community services. education, and domestic needs and household support.
De Brantes, meanwhile, said of the 60th anniversary declaration that CARE "wanted women to carry forward the whole meaning of what women do in a developing world."
The humanitarian organisation asked prominent actresses, politicians, businesswomen, journalists, singers, humanitarian workers and the like to sign the declaration in the hope that their commitment would "pass the message on to heads of state to continue to work to eradicate poverty."
One of the signatories, American actress Meg Ryan, made an appeal earlier this month on the CARE USA website for more people to endorse the declaration, de Brantes said, adding that almost 10,000 women had signed in just over a week. A copy of the signatures was handed to High Commissioner Guterres.
CARE International, a confederation of 12 national associations, supports programmes aimed at alleviating poverty in more than 60 countries. It places special focus on working alongside poor women because they have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.