On the paradoxes of the ICRC

[The International Committee of the Red Cross] displays liberal goals but pursues them through conservative means. That is, the welfare of individuals is the highest value in its mandate, but it proceeds slowly, cautiously, with minimal objectives, and mostly on the basis of the consent of public authorities. Further, it claims to be non-political but is inherently part of humanitarian politics. It professes impartiality and neutrality, but it calculates how to advance humanitarian policies that are in competition with other policies based on national and factional advantage. (2005: 2)

–David Forsythe, The Humanitarians, p. 2

Astute observations by Forsythe on the contradictions of a fantastic organization.


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