IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsQatari PM: Prepare Militaries to Deal with the Forces of Nature

 

print print  |  share share back back

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:

English

Arabic




 

The Global Observatory

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
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.

Recent Events

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More