Blue Shield General Assembly 2023

Blue Shield General Assembly 2023

On 31st May 2023, the Blue Shield hosted its 2023 online General Assembly. We were delighted to welcome representatives from all our Blue Shield National Committees, Committees under Construction and the Founding Four organisations. Attendees from numerous countries around the world were able to attend the online meeting, hosted via Zoom.

The Blue Shield General Assembly was recorded and is available on the Blue Shield YouTube channel.

The President welcomed the new and old National Committees to the General Assembly. 

Approval of Annual Documentation

The first order of business was to approve the Blue Shield Annual Documentation. Members were asked to approve the following documents:

  • The Minutes of the 2022 General Assembly
  • The BSI Report of the Board 20230-2023 and Annual Report (May 2022 – May 2023)
  • The BSI Strategic Plan 2023-2026 and Action Plan (May 2023 – General Assembly 2024)
  • The 2022 BSI Financial Report of the Treasurer
  • and the Audit Committee Report 

The President highlighted key points from the Annual Report, in particular thanking a number of people for their support – including the outgoing Board – three members of whom are standing down.

  • Bijan Rouhani has been the ICOMOS Representative on the Interim ANCBS/Blue Shield International Board (2014-2017) and then on the Blue Shield Board following the revision to the statutes since 2017.
  • Kidong Bae was elected from the national committees and served as Vice-President 2020-2023
  • Lidia Klupsz was elected from the national committees 2020-and 2023, having previously served on the ANCBS Board 2014-2017.

The President publicly thanked them for their hard work and dedication to the Blue Shield. He also thanked who are not stepping down for their continuing work.

No questions were received on the Annual Report before the General Assembly.  The President then presented the Strategic Plan and the Action Plan, before the Treasurer presented the Report for the 2022 Financial Year and the report of the Audit Committee.  All reports were approved by the General Assembly. 


BSI Report of the Board 2020-2023 and Annual Report 2022-2023



Blue Shield is delighted to welcome its new Board members. 

  • Professor Peter Stone was re-elected to the position of President.

From the National Committees,

  • Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly was elected from the the Lebanese Committee of the Blue Shield
  • Hamady Gaye, from the Senegalese Blue Shield Committee, was re-elected for a second term
  • Anna Puhr, from the Austrian Committee of the Blue Shield was elected, and
  • Klaus Weschenfelder, from the German Blue Shield Committee, was re-elected for a second term.

The founding four organisation have nominated the following representatives:

  • ICA will be represented by Emilie Gagnet Leumas, Chair of the ICA Expert Group on Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness
  • ICOM will be represented by Medea Ekner, ICOM’s Director-General (Interim)
  • ICOMOS will be represented by Michał Wosiński, an expert member of ICOMOS ICLAFI – International Scientific Committee on Legal Administrative and Financial Issues, and heritage expert.
  • IFLA will be represented by Sharon Memis, Secretary General and CEO of IFLA.
Composite headshots of 9 people (5 women and 4 men of various ages and ethnicities).
BSI Board 2023-2026. Clockwise left to right: Peter G. Stone; Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly; Medea Ekner; Hamady Gaye; Emilie Gagnet Leumas; Anna Puhr; Sharon Memis; Klaus Weschenfelder; Michał Wosiński.

We are delighted to welcome them to the new Board – you can read more about their backgrounds if you would like to Meet the Board.

Ömer Dabanli of Blue Shield Türkiye, and Gerrit de Bruin of Blue Shield Netherlands were both reappointed to the Auditing Committee.

The President offered warm thanks and congratulations to all those elected.

Update on the Illegal Trafficking Working Group


Working Group coordinator, Professor Patty Gerstenblith, presented on the group’s work countering the trafficking of cultural objects. With members from several national committees, the group’s primary activities are focused on supporting law enforcement, presentations and awareness raising, and acting in an advisory role.

National Committee Report


Emma Cunliffe reported on highlights of national committee activity based on the  annual reports submitted by the committees. These include national committees engaging and building new connections with their military and military academies, international organisations, and local NGO partners, institutions, and governments. National committees have also been involved in, or directly organised, a large number of webinars, conferences, workshops, academies and training courses on heritage protection, disaster prevention, world heritage, and awareness on a global scale.

However, the challenges for national committees were also acknowledged – most members are volunteers, there is often a lack of capacity and funding, COVID restrictions continue to impact travel, and there are political issues where government collaboration is not possible or is extremely difficult.

Use and Misuse of the Blue Shield Emblem

Following an increasing number of queries regarding appropriate use – and possible misuse – of the blue shield emblem, Cunliffe gave a a short overview of what constitutes appropriate use of the blue shield emblem under international law for awareness amongst the national committees. 

Screen shot of faces in a zoom meeting
BS General Assembly 2023 photo


The President closed by thanking the National Committees. Thanks were also received in the chat from many national  committee members.


Meet the Board!

Read about our previous General Assemblies – 2022 2021 2020 2017 and other meetings

Have a look at the activities of our National Committees or read the reports of National Committee Activities – 202220212020

Find out more about the 1954 Hague Convention and the emblems of protection in our Document Library

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