The Fundamental Principles

A brief history
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1859 – In the beginning

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On the battlefield of Solferino, the actions of Henry Dunant and the local people delivered impartial humanitarian action of volunteers. “Tutti Fratelli” (all are brothers) is what the local people used to say while providing help to the wounded.

1875 – Something develops...

FP-anniversary-stampGustave Moynier proposes 4 basic working principles: Foresight (preparations in advance); Solidarity (mutual ties between National Societies); Centralization (One National Society per country) and Mutuality ( assistance given to wounded regardless of nationality)

1921 – Statutes of ICRC

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The ICRC modified their Statutes to include four Fundamental Principles:  IMPARTIALITY, political, religious and economic  INDEPENDENCE, UNIVERSALITY of the Movement and EQUALITY of its members.

1955 – Jean Pictet - Red Cross lawyer

Jean S. Pictet (1914-2002), vice-président du CICR. Président de la section juridique et directeur de affaires générales.

Jean S. Pictet (1914-2002), vice-président du CICR.
Président de la section juridique et directeur de affaires générales.

Red Cross Jurist,  Jean Pictet, defined and analysed all the values which guide the work of the Movement. He listed 17 principles in two categories: Fundamental Principles (reason for the Movement ’s existence and inspire and influence all it does) and Organic principles (concerning the Movement ’s structure and how it works).

1965

1965 – Adopting Seven Fundamental Principles

XXth International Conference of the Red Cross in Vienna at the Hofburg Palace, October 2 to 9, 1965; Festival Hall in the Hofburg Palace

XXth International Conference of the Red Cross in Vienna at the Hofburg Palace, October 2 to 9, 1965; Festival Hall in the Hofburg Palace

The Seven Fundamental Principles (as we know them today) are  unanimously adopted by the 20th International Conference of the Red Cross in Vienna. It is also decided that they be read aloud at the opening of every International Conference, which continues today.

1986 – Preamble to the Statutes of the Movement

FP-anniversary-bookThe 25th International Conference of the Red Cross reaffirmed the importance of the Principles by including them in the Preamble to the Movement’s Statutes.

8 October, 2015 – 50th Anniversary of the adoption of the Fundamental Principles

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On 8 October 2015 we mark the 50th anniversary of our Principles.

December 2015 – 32 International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent

Our Fundamental Principles in action will serve as the overarching theme at this unique forum – a meeting of IFRC, ICRC, all National Societies and States Party to the Geneva Conventions who come together to shape the humanitarian agenda.

See more about the impact of the Fundamental Principles on Red Cross and Red Crescent work at www.fundamentalprinciples.today

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies