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Key facts

12-05-2010 Facts and Figures

Key Points

Key facts

  • Dunant's four colleagues on the original committee of 1863 included a retired general, two doctors and a lawyer.
  • Although acting in a private capacity, they persuaded the Swiss government to convene the Diplomatic Conference of 1864, which adopted the Geneva Convention.
  • The first national society to be formed was in the German state of Württemberg in November 1863.
  • The ICRC gained acceptance as a neutral humanitarian intermediary during the wars that flared up round Europe in the 1860s and 1870s.
  • The red crescent emblem was first used in 1876 by medical units of the (Turkish) Ottoman Empire, which was fighting a war with Russia.