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Our world. Your move. Events in Switzerland.

20-07-2009 Event

Just 150 years ago, Swiss businessman Henry Dunant happened to witness the aftermath of one of the most brutal battles of the 19th century, at Solferino in what is now northern Italy. The scenes of suffering that he witnessed in 1859 led him to take the first steps towards the creation of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Event Info

Where: Geneva


24 June 2009. The Jet d'eau lit up in red.    
2 July 2009. Le pont de la Machine in Geneva.    
The Pont du Mont Blanc in Geneva    
A poster of the photo exhibition.    

    pdf file   Program of events   in PDF format for print and download    (176 kb)  
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 The year 2009 also sees the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions; the development of international humanitarian law to make war more humane was another result of Dunant’s efforts.  

“All can, in one way or another, each in his own sphere and within his own limitations, do something to help the good work forward.”
Henry Dunant, A Memory of Solferino 
 To mark these anniversaries, the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have launched a global campaign:  Our world. Your move.  

 Our world   faces unprecedented challenges, from conflict and mass displacement to climate change and migration.  Your move   reminds us of our collective responsibility to make the world a better place. Like Henry Dunant, we can all make a difference, even through the simplest of gestures.  


 Special events will be held worldwide throughout 2009 to commemorate these anniversaries.  

Events in Switzerland 
Commemorative lighting 
From 24 June to 4 July 2009, a selection of sites in Geneva associated with the history of the Red Cross was lit up. Each reflected a theme linking it with the Red Cross:
  • Bust of Henry Dunant, Place Neuve: the humanitarian reflex

  • Musée Rath, Place Neuve: the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

  • Hôtel de Ville: the Geneva Conventions

  • Rue Verdaine 12: the life of Henry Dunant

  • Rue du Puits Saint-Pierre: the place where Henry Dunant wrote "A Memory of Solferino " .
  • Pont de la Machine: 2009 campaign – Our World. Your Move .  


On 24 June, the Jet d'eau was lit up in red to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino. After witnessing the aftermath of the fighting there, Henry Dunant had an idea that was eventually to lead to the Red Cross.

Red Cross/Red Crescent youth gathering 
declaration More than 300 young people took part in a symbolic walk from Solferino to Geneva and on their arrival made a addressed to the world. Official ceremony open to the public. (2 July 2009, Promenade St Antoine, Geneva)  
Bridge decoration 

The Pont du Mont Blanc will be decorated with flags for the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions (12 August).  10 - 17 August 2009, Pont du Mont Blanc, Geneva.  
Our World – At War 

  photo exhibition  The ICRC and the VII photo agency together sent five award-winning photographers – James Nachtwey, Ron Haviv, Christopher Morris, Franco Pagetti and Antonin Kratochvil – to capture images of the impact of war and armed violence on the lives of people in eight countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and the Philippines.

 24 August - 20 September 2009, Quai Wilson, Geneva, outdoor exhibition.  

Comptoir gruérien 

The ICRC, the Swiss Red Cross and the Fribourg Branch of the Swiss Red Cross share a stand.  23 October - 1 November 2009, Espace Gruyère, Bulle.