The power of humanity
31-12-1999 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 836
Declaration - 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October to 6 November 1999
Annex 1 of the resolution 1
The approach of a new century is a time for reflection. For the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and the governments committed to the Geneva Conventions, it is also a time for concern.
In spite of positive changes in recent decades, conflicts still rage in many countries. Attacks on civilian populations and objects are commonplace. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes. International humanitarian law is often flouted. Highly destructive natural disasters continue to shatter the lives of large numbers of people. New and old diseases cause widespread suffering. Health services and social and economic systems struggle to cope with increasing demands. The weakest around the world continue to suffer most.
In the face of this we commit ourselves:
to bring real help and comfort, wherever it is needed, to save and improve the lives of millions;
to reinforce our collective commitment to international humanitarian law;
to campaign for human dignity and the responsibility of each one of us to help others, without discrimination, to mitigate the consequences of disasters and war;
to support the millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers across the world who daily embody the humanitarian commitment.
“The power of humanity ” is the strength of individual commitment and the force of collective action. Both must be mobilized to relieve suffering, ensure respect for human dignity and ultimately create a more humane society.