05 December 2019

Henry Dunant Medal - Tribute to Michael Meyer

Yesterday, Michael Meyer, Head of International Law at British Red Cross, was awarded the Henry Dunant Medal, the highest honour in the Red Cross Movement. 

George Weber, Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, presented the award in Geneva and paid tribute to Michael's service to the Movement and International Humanitarian Law:

"Michael Meyer has given the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement almost four decades of outstanding service in the fields of international humanitarian law and policy development."

"Born in the United States, Mr Meyer graduated from Yale University before studying international law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In 1982, Mr Meyer joined the department of international law at the British Red Cross, from where he has made an extraordinary contribution to both his National Society and the Movement."

"A renowned expert in international law and the author of many published works, Mr Meyer has guided governments and National Societies alike on the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols. Mr Meyer’s achievements in this area are always underpinned by his resolute belief in the Fundamental Principles and the core purpose of humanitarian law."

"In the United Kingdom, Mr Meyer’s many successes include a substantial contribution to the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions and many pieces of domestic legislation related to humanitarian law. His thoroughness in handling statutes and governance has been instrumental in shaping the Movement’s approach to law and policy. An active protector of the emblems, Mr Meyer also guided the development and adoption of the red crystal emblem, and the process to recognise and admit Magen David Adom in Israel and the Palestine Red Crescent Society."

"Mr Meyer has led and championed many initiatives across the Movement. He founded the Commonwealth Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference on international humanitarian law and the European network of National Society legal advisers, giving impetus to similar networks in Africa and Asia. Mr Meyer also founded a biennial summer school on international humanitarian law at the University of Cambridge. These networks are essential for sharing expertise in humanitarian law and strengthening National Societies in carrying out their legal work."

"The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has, itself, long benefited from his meticulous commentaries to sharpen text, from his stimulating contributions during deliberations and his ability to motivate others, as resolutions are drafted and negotiated."

"On a personal level, Mr Meyer has been a mentor to many people across the decades. He is known for his humility and kindness, and he is always ready and willing to share his knowledge with enthusiasm. Considered a trusted and esteemed friend by many, Mr Meyer can be counted on to give counsel in a friendly and patient way, and with a modesty that belies the scale of his achievements."

"Through his inspiring work ethic and generosity of spirit, Mr Meyer embodies the Fundamental Principles, and he continues to engage people from all walks of life about the values of the Movement."

"For his unwavering commitment and service to the development and promotion of the Movement's Fundamental Principles and ideals, the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has unanimously agreed to award the Henry Dunant Medal – the Movement’s highest distinction – to Michael Meyer."

- George Weber, Geneva, 4 December 2019

Find out more in our press release here.