In its most general form, Humanitarianism is an ethic of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended universally and impartially to all human beings. Humanitarianism has been an evolving concept historically but universality is a common element in its evolution.
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- Today's real borders are not between nations, but between powerful and powerless, free and fettered, privileged and humiliated. Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another.
- Kofi Annan, Nobel lecture, Oslo, Norway, (10 December 2001)