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

Boko Haram Deal to Release Girls Met With Hope and Skepticism
The announcement of a cease-fire agreement between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram has raised hope as well as speculations over its authenticity.

Key Global Events to Watch in October
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

October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.

October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.

September 30, 2014
Vike-Freiberga: Rethinking the United Nations
In a speech delivered at IPI on September 30th, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga gave a sobering historical analysis of the gains and setbacks made by the international system over the past century and, focusing on the UN, she called for a rethinking of the organization’s structure and approach to peace.

View More