Speaker Events - Saturday, September 25, 2010
Qatari PM: Prepare Militaries to Deal with the Forces of Nature
At a time when natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more devastating, Qatar is calling for more effective use of military resources for disaster relief.
Speaking at a ministerial working dinner at the International Peace Institute, the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, said that “it is time to adapt our militaries to deal with the forces of nature, not just the force of arms.”
He detailed a proposal to create a humanitarian operation force called HOPEFOR. “We must marry two distinct cultures: military and humanitarian. We need the FOR of the military to deliver the HOPE of the humanitarian community,” he said. “Let us work together to create a force for good to help people in time of disaster.”
Increasingly, military assets are being used in disaster-relief operations. In 2004, thirty-five countries sent military resources to Southeast Asia to support relief efforts after the tsunami. In January 2010, twenty-six countries deployed military assets to Haiti after the devastating earthquake.
While military support can make the difference between life and death, “the civilian nature of humanitarian operations should not be compromised,” cautioned the Prime Minister. “When military resources are used for disaster relief, they should be mobilized in a way that is predictable, structured, and timely, in line with humanitarian principles, and upon the request of the affected state,” he said.
At the dinner, participants discussed how to strengthen implementation of the Guidelines on the use of Military and Civil Defense Assets in Disaster Relief (also known as the Oslo Guidelines). In the presence of the UN’s new Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, participants exchanged views on how to strengthen the UN’s emergency response system, particularly the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“The goal is to support existing humanitarian structures, not replace them,” said the Prime Minister.
In order to improve training, promote respect for humanitarian principles, improve coordination on the ground, and develop networks among practitioners, the Prime Minister of Qatar offered to establish a Centre of Excellence for Emergency Relief in Doha.
As a follow-up to the dinner, Qatar and IPI, in cooperation with OCHA, will convene expert-level discussions on how to make more effective use of military assets for disaster relief, and the modalities and conditions for such operations.
Read more about the launch of HOPEFOR
Read the Prime Minister's speech in:
The Global Observatory
CWhat Makes a Terrorist Stop Being a Terrorist?
A close look at terrorist de-radicalization programs shows that it is still unclear whether they work, and if so, how.
Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
November 25, 2014
Independent Commission on Multilateralism Launched in Vienna
The Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) was launched officially in Vienna on November 25th. The event was held at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and opened by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
November 13, 2014
Experts Forum: Assessing Links Between Peacebuilding and Organized Crime
Organized crime and peacebuilding can be seen as separate issues, but recent research and practice suggest the two are deeply linked—conflict is increasingly fueling crime, and crime in turn makes peace harder to achieve.
November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt