For better humanitarian action, the International Islamic Charitable Organization hosts activities of the fourth annual conference on effective partnership and exchange of information in collaboration with the Direct Aid Society, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) during the period from 17 to September 19, 2013 under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, in the Regency Hotel at ten thirty in the morning.
It is slated that president of the Global Humanitarian Forum Dr. Hani Al-Banna will run the opening session which will start with presenting a short film about the mission of the high-level “OCHA / Organization of Islamic Cooperation Partnership” to the Philippines.
The session includes the speech of the president of the International Islamic Charitable Organization and the advisor of the Amiri Diwan and the envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs Dr. Abdullah Matouq Al-Matouk, and chairman of the Direct Aid Society, Dr. Abdul Rahman Saleh Mahalan, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and the Secretary General of the Cooperation Gulf Council for the Arab Gulf States, Dr. Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs and the coordinator of the Relief Affairs, Baroness Valerie Amos, and the Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Ambassador Atta al-Mannan Bakhit, and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs at the Arab League, Ambassador/ Faikah Said Alsaleh.
Dr. Maatuq said that the conference addresses the role of the youth and the private sector in the field of humanitarian action, and effective non-traditional actors in humanitarian response, and the formation of “working groups” to discuss how to integrate the work of the private sector in humanitarian work in terms of challenges, opportunities and mechanisms, in addition to reviewing some of the innovative practices in the field of humanitarian work for Arab institutions working at the international level, and models for institutions that provide aid and humanitarian services to internally displaced Syrians and Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, and examples of the mechanisms of works of donors in the Arab States: methodology and policies followed in support of humanitarian actions.
The Chairman of the Organization added: the conference also addresses the subject of “Working together .. Opportunities and Challenges,” a short film for humanitarian partnerships from the field, in addition to Arabic portal for Humanitarian Affairs: Achievements and challenges, presentation of the results of a questionnaire on partnerships for Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the means of coordination and exchange of information and communication between the international humanitarian system and local non-governmental and governmental organizations. He added that the conference sessions aim to show examples on the contribution of successful strategic partnerships in pushing achievement of humanitarian goals and case studies on partnerships in the context of emergency in the region and providing examples of successful and innovative partnerships in the region, and identification of new ways to enhance the efficiency of partnerships between the private sector and non-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations. It also seeks to highlight the importance of information technology in support of humanitarian emergencies to maximize the impact of the response, and to help participants to maximize the use of these techniques in their work, and to discuss the development of partnerships in the humanitarian Arab sector compared to other regions.
Dr. Maatuq assured that the need for effective partnership is one of the bases of humanitarian work in light of the growing victims of natural disasters, and their unprecedented levels, and the dramatically growing proportion of the humanitarian needs in the world, and the need to establish executive mechanisms and protocols for the exchange of information and strategic planning to activate the effectiveness and impact of the humanitarian response, indicating that the conference addresses the situation to provide with the appropriate coordination mechanisms and to ensure the transparency and accountability, and to help the global humanitarian organizations to mobilize their efforts together to achieve better results through effective partnerships.
He explained that the partnership conference aims to enhance communication and promote creative partnerships between Arab organizations and international humanitarian system, and to establish areas of cooperation and coordination between the key actors in the region, and establish a platform for dialogue and open new channels for the exchange of information among international, regional and local humanitarian organizations. This is in addition to the promotion of mutual understanding between the humanitarian actors on issues related to the role of youth and the private sector in humanitarian response, also sheds light on the experience of relief of the Syrian refugees.
He warned of the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the world and the increasing victims of disasters and conflicts, and their local and regional effects, which are increasing day after day, pointing out that these crises require international efforts collectively and build real humanitarian partnerships that promote the collective humanitarian work to fill the urgent humanitarian needs, because developing humane solutions to alleviate the bad human reality cannot be absorbed by one country or one organization.
He added: the annual conference of Kuwait is a great opportunity to mobilize efforts and discuss solutions by decision-makers to prevent the deterioration of the humanitarian situation on the regional and international level. The Kuwait Conference is regarded as a platform for meeting between decision-makers at global and regional levels and it is an opportunity to exchange experiences and information.
Dr. Matouq alluded to the fact that the first conference was hosted by the Sultanate of Oman in 2010 about the effective partnership and exchange of information in order to achieve better humanitarian action. The aim of that conference was to strengthen the communication and promotion of creative partnerships between Arab organizations and international humanitarian system, in addition to providing a platform for dialogue and opening new channels for the exchange of information among international, regional and local humanitarian organizations, and highlighting the important role of the Arab and Islamic organizations in the international humanitarian response. Moreover, the conference issued a number of recommendations, and a consultation board was formed to lead the initiative and to direct it towards achieving the desired objectives.
He added: in 2011, the second annual conference was held in collaboration with the International Islamic Charitable Organization and Direct Aid Society in the State of Kuwait. The discussion during the conference highlighted the need to develop a web portal (In English and Arabic) to enable humanitarian Arab organizations and their counterparts in the non –speaking Arab countries to exchange information in the humanitarian field.
The conference also discussed various models of partnership between humanitarian organizations in the Arab and Muslim world and human society in general. In light of the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, the conference devoted a full day to raise awareness about the humanitarian needs in the region. It also provided an opportunity for the organizations that responded to the crisis in the Horn of Africa to notify the participants about the situation on the ground and to highlight the most important needs. The conference stressed the importance of using limited resources to achieve the greatest benefit for the harmed population. Finally, the conference pointed to the importance of documenting the contributions through the Financial Tracking Service related to the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in order to avoid duplication of funding and humanitarian work.
He continued: in 2012, a conference was hosted by the State of Kuwait and it aimed to improve the humanitarian response, through the promotion of effective partnerships between governments and humanitarian institutions and non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
In light of current events and the growing needs in Syria and Yemen, Myanmar and West Africa, the participants, representing many local, regional and international organizations, agreed on the importance of the exchange of information, coordination and cooperation for the implementation of purposeful humanitarian response ensuring the arrival of aids timely to the harmed people without discrimination or racial, political or religious bias.
Dr. Maatuq concluded his statement, saying that such conferences provide a platform for the effective humanitarian actors and the concerned stakeholders in the region to exchange experiences and consolidate efforts to improve the humanitarian work, and for displaying models of the successful bilateral and multilateral partnerships between governments and non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to highlight the achievements in the short term and the expected results over the long term and for discussing the challenges facing the set up of partnerships, and discussing ways of strengthening the trust between the humanitarian, Arab and Islamic organizations on the one hand, and international organizations, on the other hand, as well as highlighting the achievements of the Arab and Islamic institutions and the recognition of their efforts at the local, regional and international levels.