The movement, which was established to provide assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, has expanded its mission and now operates in various fields of activities. For making this purpose more effective it was necessary to set key principles, that will be standard of behavior and movement activities will be based on. Back in 1875, Gustav Muanien was talking about 4 basic principles - forecast, solidarity, concentration and universality. In 1955 Jean Pikte Movement, in his work sets about Movement principles, points 17 principles, dividing them into fundamental principles that explain the nature and mission of the Movement, determine Movement structure and activity system.
Based on this in 1965 Vienna's 20th International Convention adopted 7 basic principles of the Movement. Then they were included in the preamble of the Movement Charter. Fundamental principles are standards of conduct, which are at the core and of the Movement activities and key provisions. Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles bond together the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. They guarantee the continuity of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and its humanitarian work.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.