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A. READING

The Red Cross is an international humanitarian agency. In times of war, it is dedicated to reducing the sufferings of wounded soldiers, civilians, and prisoners of war. In time of peace, it gives medical aid and other help to victims of major disasters such as floods, earthquakes, epidemics, and famines.

The initiative for founding the Red Cross came from a Swiss man called Jean Henri Dunant. Appalled by the almost complete lack of care for wounded soldiers, he appealed to the leaders of nations to found societies devoted to the aid of the wounded in wartime. A conference was held in Geneva in 1864, and official delegates of 12 nations signed the first Geneva Convention, laying down rules for the treatment and protection of the wounded and the disaster-stricken. It was also at this meeting that the famous symbol of the organization, the white flag bearing a red cross, was adopted.

It was Henry Davison, president of the American Red Cross War Committee, who proposed forming a federation of these National Societies. An international medical conference initiated by Davison resulted in the birth of the League of Red Cross Societies in 1991. In November 1991, it became the International Federation of Red Cross. The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people who are victims of natural disasters, poverty and health emergencies.

The International Red Cross has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, the total number of national Red Cross societies from all over the world has mounted to 186. So help and support are able to be rapidly sent to wherever there are victims of catastrophe, for example, to help the victims of Asia tsunami in 2004. Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in the countries hit by the tsunami reacted without hesitation to help those struggling to survive, despite the fact that many staff and volunteers had lost families, friends, colleagues and livelihoods. For example, the Indonesian Red Cross Headquarters in Banda Aceh was washed away, but a temporary office was in place within hours and the injured were being helped.

Task 1

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Task 2

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Task 3

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C. LISTENING

Task 1

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Task 2

Listen to the second part of the passage and fill in the missing words

Today almost every country in the world is a member of the UN. Each country has signed an agreement that says:

  • All members are equal.
  • All members promise to (1) in a peaceful way.
  • No member will use force against another member.
  • All members will help (2) in its actions.
  • The UN will not try to solve problems within countries except to enforce international peace.

Obviously, the United Nation has not been completely successful (3) . There have been several wars since 1945. However, the organization has helped bring peace to some countries that were (4) . It has helped people who left their countries because of wars. It has helped bring (5) to colonies.

 

E. LANGUAGE FOCUS

Grammar

Task 1

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Task 2

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Task 3

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