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Globalization and the future of humanitarian action New priorities for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement?

30-09-2001 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 843, by Ali Said Ali


Ali Said Ali
is Secretary-General of the Libyan Red Crescent Society. 

We are all aware that we are passing through a phase characterized by rapid changes involving concepts that transcend cultures and utilize mechanisms that some societies may be unable to understand. Since the end of the Cold War, which had troubled international relations for more than fifty years, the parameters of contemporary international relations have evolved within the framework of the concept of globalization.
I do not think that anyone questions the political, economic, social or cultural impact of globalization. The present differences of opinion concern assessment of the extent of the adverse consequences of this impact on human society, and especially on communities in the Third World, many of which are still living in backward conditions.
In this paper, I do not intend to discuss the political, economic, social and cultural impact of globalization. I shall merely attempt to review some of its consequences in order to determine its repercussions on the present humanitarian situation and, at the same time, assess the future of humanitarian action mechanisms, particularly the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is one of the oldest and most widely known of these mechanisms. It would be difficult to predict this future without a clear diagnosis of the present humanitarian situation in the age of globalization.  

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