Nov 29 2011
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Humanitarians and militaries must agree how to work in emergencies: USG Valerie Amos in Doha, Qatar
Speaking at the Hopefor Initiative meeting in Qatar, where participants discussed the appropriate use of military and civil defence assets during humanitarian missions, Ms Amos recognized the essential work of armed forces in many crises, but insisted that the independence of humanitarian organizations must be maintained.
"We recognise there are many valuable things that militaries can do quickly, on a large scale, and in the most difficult of conditions during humanitarian emergencies," said Ms Amos. "At the same time, the presence of military organizations can often make the work of humanitarian organizations more difficult, especially in highly politicised environments. Humanitarian organizations must maintain their core values of impartiality, neutrality and operational independence at all times."
Ms Amos said it was essential that humanitarian organizations and militaries reached a "common understanding of our respective roles and responsibilities, as well as our rules of engagement." She added humanitarian organizations should only request the use of military assets after all other options had been exhausted.
"I thank the Government of Qatar for their commitment to humanitarian work, in the region and elsewhere in the world," stressed Ms Amos. "Humanitarian organizations within and outside the United Nations are faced with larger and more complex crises every year. Effective partnership is essential if we are going to rise to that challenge, and create a genuinely global humanitarian order - to meet the needs of an increasing number of people coping with emergencies around the world."
During her visit to Qatar, Ms Amos met with Prime Minister SheikhHamad Bin-Jasim Bin-Jabr Al-Thani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid Bin-Muhammad al-Atiyah,the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and the Organisation of Islamic Conference Assistant Secretary-General. Talks covered next steps on the HOPEFOR, means to strengthen the partnership with Qatar, the humanitarian situation in countries of concern including Syria,Yemen and Somalia.
On Somalia, Ms Amos held talks with the country's Prime Minister who was visiting Doha. Ms Amos discussed with the Somali senior official the humanitarian situation there, the response to date and expressed concern with the expulsion of international partners.
- Ends -
© Press Release 2011
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