Inauguration of Pointe Dunant

Monday, 06.10.2014 – Monday, 06.10.2014

Travel; Public event

Didier Burkhatler next to the Dunant Peak
President Burkhalter presented the Zermatt authorities with a plaque, declaring the new name official. EDA

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, inaugurated Pointe Dunant (4,632 metres) on Monte Rosa in Valais. By naming one of its highest peaks after Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross and the first winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Switzerland is underlining the great importance it attaches to humanitarian action and law.

Location: Valais

Henri Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate, now has a summit named after him. The Ostspitze (4,632 metres) in Valais was renamed Pointe Dunant on 6 October 2014. Didier Burkhalter, the President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the FDFA, inaugurated the new name in Zermatt together with representatives of communal and cantonal authorities in Valais. A plaque was mounted to mark this inaugural ceremony.

The inauguration of Pointe Dunant highlights two anniversaries celebrated in 2013 and 2014 - 150 years since the foundation of the Red Cross in 1863 and 150 years since the first Geneva Convention in 1864, the first instrument of modern international humanitarian law. By associating Henri Dunant’s name with one of its highest peaks, Switzerland is using a strong and lasting symbol to convey its willingness to recognise humanitarian action and law amongst its foremost values.

Dossier: 150 years of Swiss humanitarian action

Neighbour of Pointe Dufour

Pointe Dunant is located several hundred metres from Pointe Dufour (4,634 metres) on Monte Rosa in the direction of Grenzgipfel. In January 1863, the Federal Council renamed Switzerland’s highest peak in honour of General  Guillaume-Henri Dufour. He was also directly involved in the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He presided over its first meetings in 1863 as well as the international conference which led to the adoption of the Geneva Convention in 1864. Guillaume-Henri Dufour was also the commander of the federal troops of the Swiss army, notably during the Sonderbund War in 1847, and produced the first complete topographical map of Switzerland.

Additional information and documentation