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Speaking up for humanity

Ever since Henry Dunant wrote Memories of Solferino, humanitarian action has had two fronts: direct relief and diplomatic action. As the Movement meets with governments during the 31st International Conference in Geneva in November, humanitarian diplomacy takes on international humanitarian law, health care, nuclear weapons, disaster law, support for National Societies, protection of volunteers and more. In the field, humanitarian diplomacy means speaking up for the vulnerable in the halls of power. Our coverage begins in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a story about Movement diplomacy at the African Union.

The art of persuasion
The dynamic team at the Australian Red Cross engages government, donors and the public in vital social issues without getting caught up in politics of the day.

Focus
Desperate hunger
The tragic confluence of conflict and prolonged drought has made the food insecurity crisis in the Horn of Africa one of the Movement’s most difficult humanitarian and diplomatic challenges: how to provide millions of people with live-saving aid while advocating for long-term, locally based food solutions?

Weapons
Banning the bomb
The nuclear brinksmanship of the Cold War may be over, but worries over proliferation of nuclear weapons are creating a new opportunity for diplomacy towards their prohibition and eventual elimination. The Movement is playing a central role in the debate.

Disaster preparedness
Disaster preparedness Unnatural disasters Oil spills, radiation leaks, chemical fires - these are just a few of the man-made emergencies that National Societies sometimes confront. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear emergency, Red Cross Red Crescent magazine asked IFRC president Tadateru Konoé what the Movement should do to better prepare for technological disasters.

Back cover
The first Geneva Convention

Humanitarian values
Voices of the Arab Spring
As political turmoil and conflict continue to reshape societies throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Red Crescent National Societies have also had to redefine themselves as governments fell and National Societies were pushed to the limits of their capacity.

Health care in danger
Iraq’s forgotten victims
Care along the Caguan In remote areas of Colombia, ICRC teams travel by boat on the Caguan River to deliver health care to vulnerable communities in areas plagued by armed violence. Some people in these isolated river towns say they feel as if they “have no right to get sick”.

National Society development
Bridging the digital divide
When it comes to digital technology among National Societies, there is a big gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. Nonetheless, some National Societies are doing a lot with a little, while the IFRC hopes to bridge the divide. A story in a chart.

In Brief
A summary of Red Cross and Red Crescent activities around the world.

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Guest Editorial  
How to ensure respect for the rules of war?
By Louise Arbour

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