25 September 2023

A charitable chat with the Red Cross

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The Red Cross was all we knew of international humanitarian work in our youth.

They popped up with a helping hand in arenas of conflict, negotiated, cared for the suffering and brought people back together when conflict separated them.

Would that it was as simple these days with the International Committee of the Red Cross operating in 80 countries around the world, dealing with the horrors of the middle-east and in recent times, the Rohingya crises of Myanmar.

Neutrality is essential to the operation of the ICRC and being free from political influences vital for its survival and influence.

President of the Committee, Peter Maurer elaborated on his subject of “global trends of war and their humanitarian impacts” at the National Press Club in Canberra as I reconciled the millions it takes to keep this organisation operational and the frustration we who observe from afar feel when conflicts are part of the nightly news feed.

For our youth – students making their way up the Defence ladder – many of them no doubt will negotiate and collaborate with the Red Cross at some stage in their careers, it was a vital lesson for them all.

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