The Seville Agreement was an agreement drafted within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 1997 to specify which organization within the Movement would take the lead in certain field operations. It was the latest of several "peace treaties" that sought to end turf wars between the ICRC and the Federation. Others were drafted in 1969, 1974, and 1989.
Specifically, it assigned the ICRC as lead agency in protecting persons caught in armed conflict or internal strife as well as managing the "immediate effects" of refugees or natural disasters that occur during armed conflict. The Federation takes the lead when armed conflict subsides into "reconstruction and rehabilitation," including refugees in non-warring countries. Even National Societies can become the lead agency in certain situations if both the ICRC and Federation concur.
At the Council of Delegates in Seoul in 2005, the Seville Agreement was strengthened by the adoption of a set of "supplementary measures". These supplementary measures were designed to enhance the implementation of the Seville Agreement. The measures include steps to clarify the respective roles of the ‘lead agency’ and the host National Society:
The latter should maintain its role and mandate at all times and therefore be the ‘primary partner’ of the Lead Agency. All other components involved in an international operation should support an increased role for the host National Society in the direction and coordination of activities.
Moreover, the function of Lead Agency is defined as a temporary response to a particular emergency. The supplementary measures also mention different steps to promote better knowledge of the Agreement within the Movement itself. They call on the ICRC and the Federation to design training modules on the agreement with the involvement of National Societies and ask all components to conduct regular training sessions for staff and volunteers.
- David P. Forsythe: The Humanitarians: The International Committee of the Red Cross. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2005. pp124-128. ISBN 0-521-61281-0