UN humanitarian chief welcomes enhanced partnership with Iran on regional, international assistance

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

15 September 2013 – United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced today that Iran is set to strengthen its partnership with the UN on regional and international assistance, and stressed that effective collaboration is crucial if the world body and other organizations are going to meet the needs of an increasing number of people affected by emergencies worldwide.

Ms. Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, wrapped up a three-day visit to Iran today welcoming the opportunity to work more closely with the country in regional and international humanitarian affairs.

“Iran has a well-developed system for disaster preparedness and response and often shares their capacity and expertise when responding to emergencies in other countries,” noted Ms. Amos, emphasizing that she was pleased to have signed a joint statement with the Government to strengthen partnership with the UN to improve regional cooperation on humanitarian assistance.

During her visit, Ms. Amos met with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister for Foreign Affairs. She also met with the President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society other senior officials and representatives of the diplomatic and humanitarian community, and non-governmental organizations.

Iran's engagement is essential as the international community faces larger and more complex crises in the region and elsewhere in the world. “Effective partnership is crucial if UN agencies and other organizations are going to rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of an increasing number of people affected by emergencies around the world and Iran has much to contribute to the debate on the future of the humanitarian system,” emphasized Ms. Amos.

She also thanked the people and the Government of Iran for their generosity and solidarity in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan, and called on the international community to continue supporting Iran and Afghanistan's efforts to provide long-term solutions for Afghan refugees.

Turning to the terrible conflict in Syria that is affecting the whole region, with millions of people displaced at home or having fled to safety in neighboring countries Ms. Amos said: “As others continue to pursue a political solution to the conflict in Syria I can only stress the massive human cost.”

In that context she had briefed the Foreign Minister and others on her recent visit to Damascus and asked for their help “in strengthening our humanitarian response, especially on obtaining better access for aid operations.”

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