Tomorrow (25 June) is the 150th anniversary of the foundation by Henri Dunant of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, following the Battle of Solferino in northern Italy. Since that time, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, currently led by its Swiss President, Dr Jakob Kellenberger, represent a unique example of selfless, impartial assistance for victims of conflicts and disasters.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the following statement today (24 June) in Berlin:
"I congratulate the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on its 150th anniversary. Henri Dunant, 150 years ago, brought a fundamentally humane idea to the public eye – that of providing humanitarian aid to victims of conflicts, impartially, without regard for victims' identity, political beliefs, religion or responsibility, or otherwise, for the conflicts. Since then, that initiative has grown into a worldwide movement which has alleviated the suffering caused by wars and natural disasters for millions of people across the globe, including – let us not forget this – countless Germans during the darkest phases of our history.
Without the commitment of so many volunteers this work would never have been possible. For decades now the Federal Foreign Office has always been one of the major financial supporters of the Red Cross's international activities, and we will maintain that support in the future."