Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 71 (Sunday April 20) – The Red Cross-Red Crescent museum

I spent most of the morning working in the computer, with moderate productivity, but around 1 pm decided that it was time for my dose of cultural activities. Looking for something that was not very far I took the short walk to the Red Cross-Red Crescent museum. It turned to be a very depressing activity.

The museum is very well put together, and you come out of it with an enormous respect for the work that the Red Cross-Red Crescent has done since it was established in 1864, through the efforts of the Genevoise Henry Dunant. You also have to admire the efforts of the Societé de Nations from 1920 to 1946, and its follow-up organization, the United Nations, to promote peaceful understanding among the peoples of the world. However, the long sequence of wars that have wracked the world over the last 150 years is really shocking. There is a timeline along the walls of the museum, which chronicles the history of the Red Cross-Red Crescent since its inception in 1864 on a year-by-year basis. Every panel contains a list of the wars being fought at the time, the natural catastrophes, and landmark events of the organization (including several rounds of the famous Geneva Convention(s)). There were a few years where no natural disasters were recorded, but did you know that there is not a single year in which a war was not being fought somewhere? Most years had a minimum of three armed conflicts somewhere in the world, and more than half of them had at least ten!

The visit gave me much food for thought regarding the world where we live in.

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