For the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Universality (one of Seven Fundamental Principles) a commitment to serve people in distress on every continent and in every corner of the world.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent came into being as a result of the horrors of war, torture and the ravages of earthquakes, to mention but a few of the evils that befall humankind. To the universality of suffering, the response is the universality of humanitarian action, which must rise above the barriers of politics, race and religion. Every National Society is duty bound to support sister Societies and to come to their aid in case of need.
The principle of universality indicates that each of the Movement’s components is responsible for the others: the failings or omissions of one of them affect the whole of the “family”. The very integrity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and their loyalty to the ideals and goals of the Movement are at stake. Such universality is difficult to achieve and maintain. it calls for strength of purpose, courage and vigilance from each and every component of the Movement.