March 17, 2021

Address of the President of the Red Cross of RNM, Prof. Dr. Romel Velev on the occasion of March 17th, the Foundation Day of the Red Cross of RNM and the Blood Donation Day in the Republic of North Macedonia


Today, when the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia celebrates its birthday and the day of blood donation, it is inevitable to remind ourselves that today is the day when we recognize the incredible contribution and achievements of our volunteers and staff who selflessly nurture humanity and commitment to philanthropy. We live in a time when, around the world, crises are becoming more and more complex, and the humanitarian need is enormous. More and more lives are being destroyed by armed conflict, violence and climate change, and when natural disasters occur, they are more severe and more frequent. The complex new dynamics that are characteristic in times of natural disasters and various conflicts mean one thing – that the work of our volunteers and Red Cross staff is more important than ever.

To speak, on this day, about the role, significance and achieved results of the Red Cross in our country is more than necessary and expedient. The history of the Red Cross takes us back to the distant 1945, when on March 17, the foundations of what we are today were laid. The Red Cross survived the difficult and turbulent times of political, economic and social crises, increasing its activities and scope of work over the years. Since the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992, the organization has acted as an independent national society, an integral part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, always promoting its fundamental principles, including investing in dissemination of the principles, international humanitarian law and the culture of non-violence, health awareness, first aid training, social-humanitarian activity, community empowerment and disaster response. It also promotes the importance of international humanitarian law and draws attention to universal humanitarian principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and neutrality.

Our humanity has one and only goal and that is to protect the life and health of citizens as well as to ensure respect for humanity. To promote mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace among all nations. And to be careful not to discriminate on the basis of nationality, race, religion, class or political opinion. In order to continue to enjoy the trust of all stakeholders and all those who need our help and protection, the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia will never take any side in the various disagreements or get involved at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. Our organization will always be first in the humanitarian services, while maintaining its autonomy. Our voluntary movement is not, and will not be, stimulated in any way by the desire for profit. The Red Cross is open to all and in the future will continue its humanitarian work throughout the country and where it should help and send aid to other affected areas. This is what characterizes our universality, sharing equal responsibilities and duties helping each other around the world, while emphasizing the equal status.

Today is also the Blood Donation Day in the Republic of North Macedonia. Blood Donor Day. Day of the bravest among us. That is why I want to pay tribute to all those who donate blood and blood plasma and express my gratitude to the people who save lives in this way. This year, as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, your donations are needed more than ever. During the pandemic, we continuously called on blood donors to continue their essential service to support and maintain our health care system. 

At the end of this address, I would like to emphasize the need for humanity, because it is our only guide for the future to work harder and more actively as the Red Cross. Wisdom says, first pray for your health, and then pray for humanity. Humanity should be our race, and love should be our religion. We cannot despair of humanity, because we ourselves are human beings. Mankind is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean get dirty, it does not mean that the ocean is dirty.

Today the future of humanity is in our hands.

I congratulate you the Day of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Blood Donors Day.

Prof. Dr. Romel Velev

President of the Red Cross of RNM

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