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Concern CEO speaks at key United Nations review

The event was chaired by John Holmes, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, and took place within the framework of the Humanitarian Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council. The launch was an opportunity to highlight successful innovations and overall trends in coordinated humanitarian action and resources in 2007 to date.

Speaking on behalf of the NGO community, Tom Arnold highlighted the need to place more emphasis on the prevention of humanitarian crises, whether they are conflict or complex political emergencies or natural disasters, which are increasingly linked to climate change.

Strengthening existing structures

Conflict resolution within the context of existing organisations was emphasised: “Putting effort into resolving conflict is no guarantee of success: the continuing scandal of Darfur is eloquent testimony to that. But it seems to me that more systematic priority needs to be given to this area by the international community; existing structures need to be strengthened.

Climate change

“The other area where more priority clearly needs to be given is in relation to the impact of climate change. In light of the growing focus on the impact of climate change, there is now an unarguable case that governments in developing and developed countries should prioritise the introduction of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies into their public policies”.

Building partnerships

Referring directly to the review, Mr Arnold said that “A key part of the Mid-Year Review is the section dealing with ‘Interaction between Humanitarian Reform and the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP)’. Building more effective partnerships between the different actors who make up the humanitarian community is crucial if the reform agenda is to bear fruit.

“One of the positive outcomes of the humanitarian reform process, and the debate around it, has been the explicit recognition of the important role NGOs play in delivering humanitarian services and in being an indispensable part of the overall humanitarian effort,” commented Arnold.