IRRC No. 24

Centenary Celebration of the International Committee of the Red Cross

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The International Committee of the Red Cross wishes to thank the large number of persons who have responded to its appeal and have come here to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its foundation.Mr. Pierre Boissier will shortly be describing to you how this work began, reminding you how much the whole world owes to the five men of Geneva who created the Red Cross. Did they not accomplish, with astonishing courage and tenacity, the two great ideas of their colleague Henry Dunant: the declaration of legal principles leading, on the one hand, to the protection of the victims of war and, on the other hand, to the forming of National Societies whose task it was to assist the Army Medical Services in the theatre of hostilities ? Furthermore, by constituting themselves as an International Committee, they foresaw that it could carry out the dual role of a neutral and impartial body which would propagate and develop humanitarian law and also send delegates to places in which fighting was taking place who would see to the application of this law. The principles and the action would thus be complementary.

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