If it is said that the principle of Neutrality is the most misunderstood then our principle of Unity may be the most under-appreciated – and yet it is central to our ability to deliver impartial action.

The principle of Unity is often passed over quickly as meaning “one national society in each country” and yet its significance goes far beyond. It brings diversity into our Movement by the requirement to be “open to all”, and expands our reach across our respective countries.

The need to cover the whole of the territory places us well to respond to needs, particularly when crises arise. Prepositioned stocks and well trained volunteers are the kinds of actions our National Societies take that mean we can have an immediate impact, envisaged by the principle of Unity, when disaster strikes.

The principle of Unity results in us being able to respond wherever the needs arise and with a volunteer and membership base that is drawn from our across our communities. Our National Societies strive ever further to be inclusive, whether this be about gender equality or identity, disability inclusiveness, youth engagement and many other considerations. They do this in the name of being “open to all.”

The more representative we are of our communities, the better placed we will be to serve them and the greater the confidence they will have in us to do so.