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UN General Assembly Resolution Adopts "Hopefor"
 


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2011 already costliest year for natural disasters
 
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His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

In The Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

H.E. Mr. Bashir Atalay, Deputy Prime Minister Of the Turkish Republic,
H.E. Mr. Carlos Morales Tronsco, Dominican Republic's Foreign Minister,
H.E. Mrs. Valerie Amos, UN Undersecretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs,
Their Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace be Upon you and Allah's Mercy and His blesses,,,
I welcome you to the city of Doha and thank you all for your attendance in response to our invitation to participate in the Doha International Conference on HOPEFOR Initiative: to improve the effectiveness and coordination of military and civil defence assets in relief operations and addressing of natural disasters.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
One of the most paramount characteristics of our contemporary era is the interdependence among all parts of the globe. We cannot imagine even that a country can manage to exist in isolation of other countries, or witness a special extraordinary incident occurring without its having an impact or repercussions on the rest of the world. Hence, emerged the need to mutual cooperation and collective exploration of the prerequisites of maintaining the common destiny and coexistence vis-?-vis crises and natural disasters befalling us all, with a view to enjoying the stability and peace we aspire to achieve.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this context, the efforts undertaken by the United Nations Organization, represented in the Office of Humanitarian Affairs Coordination, in the area of addressing natural disasters, undoubtedly contribute to the alleviation of sufferings and losses incurred by the affected countries. However, the successive occurrence of these disasters, their mounting escalation, their varied forms and sorts all contributed to a colossal series of damage and destruction. Now, there is no country which is immune or invincible as far as these disasters are concerned. By the same token, there is no country which can manage to deal on its own with such catastrophes. What renders matters even more difficult is that there is no method by means of which we can predict the place and time of the occurrence of these disasters. The only definite fact is that it may only be a matter of time before another disaster occurs.
Proceeding from these facts, the State of Qatar presented the " HOPEFOR" initiative with the aim of making use of military and civil defence assets to provide immediate relief operations to the disaster-stricken areas. We thank Turkey and the Republic of Dominican, for agreeing to take part in that initiative in collaboration with the UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The primary objective of the "HOPEFOR' initiative is to improve the effectiveness and coordination of military and civil defence assets in relief operations. Thus, it assists in bridging the gap in humanitarian efforts at the international level as the military and civil defence assets facilitate a rapid response to disasters which may not be possible in the case of the traditional emergency response systems. The initiative, therefore, ensures the bridging of the huge gap that occurs during disasters between the required needs and those actually available, particularly during the immediate aftermath of the disaster when the damage is huge and is usually above the national capabilities of any one country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is highly important to mention here that we from the first time we have presented this initiative have been assigning utmost importance to consultations with various concerned countries, international organizations and regional and national authorities with relevant expertise in this field to get acquainted with their views and concerns. The follower of this initiative from the beginning can see how its features, details and vision have developed in such a way as to take account of those concerns, interests and positions.
Your discussions in the past two days have added an international dimension to the initiative, and came out with important recommendations that can help us confront the aftermath of natural disasters.
Out of the state of Qatar's firm commitment to exert all efforts to help in this respect I am pleased to announce the intention of the state of Qatar to establish a specialized center in Doha to serve the Middle East and West Asia regions in the field of improving the utilization of the military and civil defense capabilities in relief operations in the aftermath of natural disasters. We are confident that the establishment of the center would enhance regional coordination and cooperation, and pave the way for the introduction of an international framework for the mobilization of all efforts to build the required resources and achieve success in this field.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your conference has enriched the discussion and the dialogue, and has shed light of the issues that can advance the implementation of the initiative. We are happy about the positive stances taken by the GCC member states, the Arab group, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union, which have all welcomed the outcome that we are looking forward to endorse at the end of this meeting.
Thank you and best regards