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