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These are dangerous times. More than a year after the appalling events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent war in Afghanistan, acts of terrorism and the fight against them continue to shape world affairs. A bomb explosion that killed 180 people on the Indonesian island of Bali, a hostage crisis in Moscow in which over a hundred people died and continuing military action in Pakistan and Afghanistan are the most recent battlefields.

The presence of the Movement is one of the few steadfast elements in this global war. The battlefields may be worldwide and diverse, but the mission and work of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff remain universal - offer assistance to the victims and ensure respect for the rule of law during war as defined in the Geneva Conventions.

This issue focuses on the Movement in the face of terrorism and the fight on it. How and in what way can we be most useful to the international community as it copes with this crisis? The answer is simple - by sticking to our principles.

Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These seven Fundamental Principles guide the action of every National Society, the ICRC and the Federation. Several articles in this edition offer inspiring examples of the principles in action. From Nigeria to Indonesia, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are putting themselves in the line of ?re to save lives.

All too often, we, in the Movement, forget or neglect these principles and always with dire consequences. With the world becoming increasingly polarized, we must renew our commitment to them. We need to ensure that they are not simply legacies from our long history but rather a cohesive force, at the core of our current actions. And we must use them to contribute towards solidarity in an increasingly divided and conflictual world.

Jean-François Berger
ICRC editor

Jean Milligan
Federation editor

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