Third International Forum for Humanitarian Action draws to an end

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Third International Forum for Humanitarian Action draws to an end

6/11/2015 |

Third International Forum for Humanitarian Action draws to an end

The Third International Forum for Humanitarian Action has drawn to an end.

The forum, hosted by Qatar Charity, brought together humanitarian and risk management organizations in the region and was held under the slogan ‘Together for more effective and safer humanitarian action’.

Among a number of important recommendations in favor of humanitarian action to help tackle the high numbers of crises and other challenges for humanitarian work around the world, it was agreed that the fourth meeting will be held in Kuwait in March 2016.

In the closing session of the forum, during which the recommendations were made, a number of certificates and shields were distributed to all of the organizers, participants and lecturers; thanking them for their role in the support and success of the forum.

These recommendations included all aspects of the main two themes: the code conduct of humanitarian work and issues of safe access to the victims of armed conflict.

The forum involved a series of lectures, sessions and workshops, and QC, within the framework of the recommendations, showed its willingness to finance a comprehensive scientific study on the humanitarian principles and codes of conduct, ways in which humanitarian organizations can apply them and how Arab and Islamic values can be integrated ​​with the code.

These recommendations included an emphasis on the importance of holding the forum on an annual basis, in view of the encouraging results achieved so far, welcoming the efforts of humanitarian organizations in the region in the field of compliance with humanitarian principles and urging them to exert more efforts to strengthen their capabilities in this area via cooperation with each other and other international bodies such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as urging humanitarian organizations in the region to engage effectively in the initiatives and make efforts to upgrade and deploy humanitarian principles and develop codes of conduct.

It was also recommended that maximum efforts are made to develop the capabilities of humanitarian organizations in the region in the field of risk management to ensure safe access to beneficiaries during armed conflicts in cooperation with relevant international and regional organizations, and encouraging humanitarian organizations in the region to integrate the relevant risk management within its functions, allocate the necessary resources to this function and enhance cooperation between humanitarian organizations in order to prepare an action guide for humanitarian organizations in the field of risk management during humanitarian interventions in the event of armed conflict. The International Centre for Research and Studies expressed its readiness to submit a proposal in this regard.

Recommendations also called for enhanced coordination and cooperation between humanitarian organizations to participate in private humanitarian principles training programs and secure access to victims of armed conflict. Organizations were encouraged to exchange information and experiences and coordinate humanitarian efforts during armed conflict on the basis of diversity and integration, particularly with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (OCHA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in order to promote safe access for beneficiaries.

These recommendations concluded with the need to seek to expand the participation of humanitarian organizations from other Gulf countries not currently involved, and the activation of the follow-up to the recommendations of the forum to make the best use of the efforts made in organizing it, and invest in its outcomes.

The closing session included speeches from the Islamic Cooperation Organization Ambassador Hesham Youssef, who thanked those who had contributed to the success of the forum.

Hesham explained that the forum has contributed effectively through its lectures, workshops and discussions on both the code of conduct of humanitarian work and the access to the victims of armed conflict, to enriching the experiences of the participants who are interested and active in the field of humanitarian action.

Ronald Oovieringr, representative of the International Red Cross office in Kuwait, said that he considered that the forum raised two issues that represent the largest and most important obstacles to humanitarian action.

He noted the efforts of local and regional organizations in the Middle East; pointing out that the International Red Cross opens its doors to these great organizations for effective and safe humanitarian work.

Dr. Atta al-Mannan Bakheet, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Dawa Organization gave a speech discussing how the forum had evolved and grown which has steadily increased, noting that this expansion confirms the success of the event.

He noted that the forum has moved from public debate to deep specialist debate; through the two pillars of the forum; the code of the principles of humanitarian action and conduct, and issues of safe access to the victims of armed conflicts, expressing his hope that humanitarian action improved as a result of the recommendations made.

The forum was held on May 19 and 20, and participants included regional and international organizations such as QC, Islamic Cooperation Organisation, the International Islamic Relief Organization, Saudi Arabia, the International Committee of the Red Cross (Kuwait Mission), the International Islamic Charitable Organization (Kuwait), Humanitarian Relief Foundation(IHH) (Turkey), the International Centre for Studies and Research, MEDAD (Saudi Arabia), the Organization of the Islamic Dawa (Doha office), Mercy International Foundation (Kuwait) and Al Jazeera Center for Studies (Doha).

In addition to those actively participating in the forum, a number of humanitarian organizations active in the Gulf Cooperation Council attended, including the Red Crescent Societies, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the organizations of the United Nations specialized in the Gulf region, the competent government bodies concerned with humanitarian affairs in the Gulf Cooperation Council, research and study centers interested in humanitarian work within GCC and the most important humanitarian actors in countries where major humanitarian operations are managed.

Both mornings of the forum were devoted to seminars; at a rate of two seminars a day, prepared by academics, researchers and senior experts, alongside four workshops a day, of an hour and a half each, with the workshops on the first day focusing on issues relevant to the Code of Conduct, and the second day on practical issues related to safe access to the victims of armed conflicts.

The following workshops were held: Controversial issues on the humanitarian principles; the code of conduct and the challenges of its application, training of workers on the code of conduct; methodology for developing a code of conduct; humanitarian action risks during armed conflicts; the importance of information in the protection of victims during armed conflicts; networking and enhanced protection, and institutional measures to protect personnel during armed conflicts.