Red Cross 150 years - Nobel Peace Center

Nobel Peace Center

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  1. Photo: Kirsti Svenning / Nobel Peace Center
  2. Photo: Kirsti Svenning / Nobel Peace Center
  3. Photo: Kirsti Svenning / Nobel Peace Center
  4. Photo: Olav A. Saltbones / ICRC / Red Cross
  5. Photo: Olav A. Saltbones / ICRC / Red Cross
  6. Photo: Olav A. Saltbones / ICRC / Red Cross
  7. Photo: Virginie Louis / ICRC / Red Cross
  8. Photo: Max Vaterlaus / ICRC / Red Cross
  9. Photo: H.D. Finkl / ICRC / Red Cross

Red Cross 150 years

08 May 2009–15 May 2009

In 2009 it was 150 years since the idea of a humanitarian initiative was born. The Nobel Peace Center’s celebration of the Red Cross consisted of a photo exhibition in the Entry Hall. Outside, a Red Cross field hospital tent was erected, where the public could see both films and historical artefacts.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari attended the exhibition opening.

The exhibition’s purpose was to ignite a debate on the priniciple of neutrality, that the Red Cross is impartial in political, racial, religious and ideological conflicts.

The Red Cross founder Henry Dunant was awarded the very first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, and the Red Cross / Red Crescent movement later have received the Nobel Peace Prize three times.

The Red Cross / Red Crescent is founded on seven principles: humanity, impartialitty, neutrality, independence, voluntarism, unity and universality.

The Red Cross mandate as a guardian of the Genèva Conventions and of international humanitarian law, gives the organisation both rights and duties, and is reflected in their efforts in war and conflict areas.

The Genèva Conventions started in Henry Dunant’s book ”Memories from Solferino”. As a young businessman, Dunant witnessed the battle of Solferino in 1859. 40 000 dying and wounded people were lying on the battlefield. The sanitary soldiers on site had neither capacity nor equipment to help. This horrific sight agitated Dunant. He started to organise help using local volunteers. He believed that all wounded were equal and had the same right to be helped. This was a revolutionary thinking. Dunant’s thoughts that wounded and hurt people in wars should be helped regardless of what side they belong to, formed the foundation of the Red Cross / Red Crescent movement and of an ideology that today spans the globe.