Logo
UN General Assembly Resolution Adopts "Hopefor"
 


Conference Information Note


2011 already costliest year for natural disasters
 
Email Alert

To receive the conference's latest news and updates, please enter your Email:

 

Opening Statement by His Excellency Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi, Assistant Foreign Minister for follow up affairs, Qata

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would first like to thank you for accepting the invitation to participate in the International Conference on the HOPE FOR initiative to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of the use of the military and civil defense assets of in response to natural disasters.

As you know, the frequency of natural disasters has increased during the past decade, claiming the lives of millions around the world. It is expected that natural disasters will occur frequently with greater magnitude due in part to climate change. This development raises the question of how to strengthen the capacity of local, national, regional and international for preparedness and response to natural disasters. The continued and multiplicity of these natural disasters, put additional burden on the humanitarian response systems.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this context, we often resort to military and civil defense assets to support relief efforts to respond to natural disasters. Experience has shown that these assets make an important contribution in the aftermath of a disaster and save the lives of millions of people.

In this, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar announced in June 2010 in New York, the “HOPEFOR” initiative to enhance the effectiveness of coordinating the use of military and civil defense assets in response with natural disasters. This was followed by in-depth consultations with a wide range of stakeholders and in close cooperation with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations to further refine the initiative and propose concrete results. Based on this, the initiative determined a series of options to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of the use of military and civil defense assets in response to natural disasters.

The State of Qatar has mobilized support for the initiative from Member States and interested organizations, and therefore, the State of Qatar, the Dominican Republic and the Turkish Republic, presented a draft resolution which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations July 1st 2011, aiming to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of the use of the assets of military and civil defense in response to natural disasters.

The General Assembly welcomed the initiative of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, (HOPE FOR), entitled "the framework of global cooperation to improve the effectiveness of the assets of military and civil defense in the relief operations", which aims to strengthen civil and military coordination in humanitarian assistance and ensure the use of military and civil defense assets to support relief operations in natural disasters in an appropriate, effective and coordinated manner, in accordance with the principles of international law and international humanitarian law, and the principles of humanity.

The decision of the General Assembly took note of the initiative of the State of Qatar, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Turkey, calling for a process of refelction, in close coordination with the Coordinator of Emergency Relief, on ways to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of the use of military and civil defense assets in response to natural disasters.

In its resolution, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved with great interest the decision of the State of Qatar, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Turkey to participate in the call for convening an international conference in Doha in 2011, to discuss the concept of the HOPE FOR initiative and consider the options presented in the initiative, and the necessary steps for their implementation, as appropriate, in close cooperation with Member States and regional and international organizations and Coordinator of Relief in emergency situations.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased at this moment, having given you a brief background on the important initiative on ways to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of the use of military and civil defense assets in response to natural disasters, to announce the opening of the Expert-level meeting, which will be held over two days on 27 and 28 November. We look forward to your participation in the three seminars, which will discuss thoroughly the options identified in the background paper of the initiative, and the panel sessions to discuss the action steps for implementation relating to the concerned global networks and regional coordination and arrangements, mainly centers of excellence, discuss the concept and options of the HOPE FOR initiative and reach the steps necessary for their implementation, which will take shape in the recommendations to be issued by the Ministerial Meeting of the Conference. The State of Qatar will submit these recommendations to the General Assembly of the United Nations in its current session.

Finally, your participation today in this conference gives me great pleasure, and we urge you to contribute with constructive suggestions that will enrich the discussions and deliberations of the Conference to achieve the desired objectives.

I now give the floor to His Excellency, Edwin Olivares, head of disaster response in the Dominican Republic.
-----------------
I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Emre Yunt, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the State of Qatar,

Now, I am pleased to open the experts session, which will include presentations of national, regional and international views. I give the floor to Mr. Rudolph Miller, head of the Emergency Services Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
----------------------------------
I now give the floor to His Excellency Ambassador Toni Frisch, head of the Consultative Group on the use of military and civil assets relief operations.
--------------------------------
I now give the floor to Mr. Mezni Ariza, Assistant Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia.
------------------------------
I now give the floor to Captain Khamis Al-Merieky, representative of the Search and Rescue Team in Qatar.
--------------------------------------------
I now give the floor to Mr. Andrew Hill, representative of the Civil and Military Coordination Sector at NATO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
I thank the speakers for the important presentations that they have provided, which represents a suitable basis to start the in-depth debates today and tomorrow. Before we end the morning session of the Meeting of Experts, I would like to raise some organizational matters.

The first issue is concerning the formation of a drafting committee that will be tasked with compiling the outcomes of the workshops and panel discussion as a prelude to the formulation of recommendations of the Conference. The Drafting Committee will submit the results to the chair, who will in turn read out the findings to the plenary session at the end of the day and conclusions agreed upon by the attendance.

As has been the norm in numerous conferences and to organize their work, the committee will be set up under the host country (Qatar) and the organizing countries both Turkey and The Dominican, and the chairs of workshops, and panels and UN partner (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations).

The second issue is relates to the organization of the workshops and seminars, and in this, I give the floor here to chairs of the three cluster discussions: the first cluster on training and approach, HE Dr. Ahmed Al-Meriekhy, Director of the Department for International Development of Qatar Foreign Affairs Ministry, The second cluster on operational capabilities, HE Ambassador Anil Cicek, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey. The third cluster on the preparedness, Mr. Edwin Olivares, director of Disaster Response in the Dominican Republic.