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2024 Sydney Peace Prize Recipient Announcement

The Sydney Peace Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as the recipient of the 2024 Sydney Peace Prize, for courageous and highly respected humanitarian work and respect for common humanity.

In a year marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Geneva Conventions, and amid unprecedented challenges to International Humanitarian Law, the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is as important as it has ever been.

The Peace Prize jury selected the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement from a field of strong and worthy candidates, recognising the impact and great significance of the humanitarian network of 16 million volunteers and staff spanning more than 191 countries. The prize will be awarded for “saving lives and preventing the suffering of people affected by armed conflict, for its advocacy for peace, and for its commitment to International Humanitarian Law”.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was officially announced as the recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize at an event held at Sydney Town Hall on Thursday, 18 June during a ceremony attended by Sydney Peace Foundation patron and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and Australian Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Penny Harrison.  

In accepting the award on behalf of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Ms Harrison thanked the Sydney Peace Foundation for recognising the Movement’s longstanding commitment to alleviating human suffering during times of conflict and advancing international humanitarian law.

“There are currently more than 100 armed conflicts globally creating unprecedented humanitarian needs. Through our Humanitarian Principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement navigates where others cannot, providing vital protection and support to those most in need, including those in the world’s most volatile and complex humanitarian landscapes,” she said.

President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Kate Forbes said the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was humbled to accept the 2024 Sydney Peace Prize.

 “This award pays tribute to the dedication and bravery of our volunteers and staff who work tirelessly in the most challenging and dangerous environments, often risking their lives to help others. 

“It also acknowledges the courageous work of our National Societies, particularly during the ongoing global conflicts where tragically we have lost many of our people including 20 members of the Palestinian Red Crescent, four members of Magen David Adom and four members of the Sudanese Red Crescent since October of last year,” she said. 

Melanie Morrison, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation said: “Wherever civilians are threatened by conflict, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is steadfast and courageous in its support for their rights and dignity even when facing increasing risk to their own safety and security. This year the Sydney Peace Prize particularly acknowledges the brave members of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society working in Gaza under dangerous conditions.”

City of Sydney Lord Mayor and Sydney Peace Foundation Patron Clover Moore said: “Red Cross/Crescent teams are working tirelessly, in shockingly difficult and dangerous circumstances, to save lives and reduce suffering.

“Working in conditions unknown in modern times, 20 Palestinian Red Crescent Society volunteers have been killed, giving their lives while working to provide a lifeline to two million Palestinians. As the crisis in Gaza continues to worsen, the Sydney Peace Prize serves to recognise their selfless, brave and heroic service and repeat calls for leaders to put an end to this unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and deliver peace and justice for all.”

The Sydney Peace Prize will be formally awarded to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement later in the year, when Kate Forbes, the President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, will travel to Australia to attend the Sydney Peace Foundation’s annual lecture on 18 November at Sydney Town Hall. 

The Sydney Peace Foundation, supported by the University of Sydney and the City of Sydney, is now in its 26th year of promoting peace with justice.  Past laureates include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Naomi Klein, Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Professor Noam Chomsky and The Black Lives Matter and Me-Too Movements.  We have also had the privilege of honouring Nelson Mandela, among others, with our Human Rights Award.


To arrange an interview with Australian Red Cross Interim CEO, Ms Penny Harrison, please contact Australian Red Cross Media by calling 1800 733 443.

Melanie Morrison, Director, Sydney Peace Foundation 


M: 0401 996 451 

University of Sydney media office


M:  +61 2 8627 0246 (diverts to mobile)

Australian Red Cross Media


Ph: 1800 733 443

Kate Forbes in Gaza
IFRC President Kate Forbes in the Field