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Our world. Your move. Events in the United States.

30-06-2009 Event

Event Info

Where: Geneva

The Our world at war exhibition in Washington's Newseum. 
From left to right: ICRC press officer Bernard Barrett, ICRC public affairs officer Sara Schomig, American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, photographer Christopher Morris, CBS presenter Kimberly Dozier and ICRC head of delegation Geoff Loane 

 Washington – 24 June – ICRC celebrates 150 years of the Red Cross  

On 24 June 1859, the day-long Battle of Solferino took place in northern Italy, leaving more than 6,000 dead and 40,000 wounded. Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman travelling through the area, was shocked to see that no-one was looking after the wounded. With the help of women from the nearby village of Castiglione, he organized care for the wounded and dying for three days and nights. This experience inspired his book A Memory of Solferino and later the founding of the Red Cross, the world's largest humanitarian network.  

One hundred and fifty years later, on 24 June 2009, the ICRC’s regional delegation for the United States and Canada celebrated the sesquicentennial of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement together with thousands of Red Cross staff and volunteers around the world.


Some 200 representatives from the ICRC, the American Red Cross, the U.S. government, academia, other humanitarian organizations and media attended a reception to highlight the contribution the Movement has made throughout its history. The evening's festivities took place at the Newseum in Washington, DC, where guests also viewed Our World At War: Photojournalism Beyond the Front Lines, which remained on display until 7 September 2009. The ICRC thanks the Newseum for its collaboration on the exhibition.  

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross, delivered the evening's keynote remarks. She noted the example of what one person can do, as in the case of Henry Dunant, and the remarkable growth the Movement has experienced, with nearly 1 million volunteers in the United States and 97 million around the world today.

Further contributions came from VII’s Christopher Morris, one of the five photographers whose work was on display that evening and from Geoff Loane, head of the ICRC’s regional delegation in Washington. CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier was the programme’s expert moderator.

Useful links 
Washington – 12 August – 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions  

To mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC’s Washington delegation hosted a well-attended event at the Newseum in Washington, for approximately 200 guests representing the American Red Cross, the U.S. government, the U.S. armed forces, prominent think tanks and NGOs.

After welcoming remarks by Joe Urschel, Executive Director and Vice President of the Newseum, Washington head of delegation Geoff Loane delivered a speech on the importance and relevance of IHL in today's world.

The keynote address followed, with Gregory Craig, Counsel to the President, sharing anecdotes from his four-decade association with the ICRC, beginning with an encounter during the Biafra conflict in 1969. He spoke warmly of the work and mission of the ICRC and of the service provided by Geoff Loane during his tenure in Washington. Mr Craig went on to emphasize the United States'unwavering commitment to the principles of the Geneva Conventions, in particular Common Article 3, stating that they provide a foundation for sustainable security. He called on governments to promote adherence to, vigorous compliance with, and enforcement of the Geneva principles.

Guests then had the opportunity to view Our World at War, which remained on display at the Newseum until 7 September.

Chicago – 24 September – launch of Our World at War  

 Our World At War opened on 24 September at the Loyola University School of Communications in central Chicago.

Chicago Red Cross chapter CEO Fran Maher introduced VII photographer Ron Haviv, who gave keynote remarks at the exhibit launch. Guides took guests from country to country, providing background information on the photographs and the ICRC.

The exhibition will continue until 20 November.


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