take advantage in this, the first of our editions in 2001, to
look ahead at the issues facing the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement
in the coming year - a year of celebrations, commemorations
and above all challenges.
As the largest volunteer organization in the world, we take
particular pride in the events being planned Movement-wide,
to mark this the International Year of Volunteers. It is a touchstone
the magazine will focus on, in various ways, over the course
of 2001. It is a chance for us to initiate and take part in
a debate affecting our 97 million members and volunteers; how
we recruit, train and care for them.
| Ours is a tradition
to celebrate and another opportunity to do so is with the 100th
anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize later this year. Henry
Dunant, founder of the Movement, was awarded the first-ever
Peace Prize in 1901. This centennial gives us a chance to highlight
the work done over the years by our 176 National Societies,
the ICRC and the International Federation on behalf of those
Of course, 2001 will be a year marked by many challenges, too.
An agreement on the emblem issue continues to be a vital priority
so as to allow the Movement to achieve its ultimate goal: a
better protection for humanitarian work, for the victims of
conflict and violence and for those coming to their aid.
The impact of globalization, ethnic conflicts and new ways of
handling complex humanitarian crises are among some of the priorities
for the ICRC this year. As always, the ICRC is committed to
working independently, impartially and with neutrality throughout
its humanitarian work by widening its contacts with all parties
involved in conflict and conflict resolution.
The scourge caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the silent toll
caused by forgotten disasters and the continued emphasis on
capacity building will be among the central issues for the International
Federation in 2001, as it maintains and strengthens its commitment
to building the capacities of National Societies worldwide.
The magazine has touched on several of these themes in this
issue and will cover many of the others in the months ahead,
online and in print.
We look forward to hearing from you, our readers.
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