Dubai hosts second forum on Humanitarian Action

For the second year in a row, the International Humanitarian City (IHC) hosted the “Humanitarian Action Forum”, in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) at the IHC premises in Dubai.

Shaima Al Zarooni, CEO of the International Humanitarian City, inaugurated the Forum in presence of Jens Eikaas, Norwegian ambassador to the UAE, Yahia Alibi, Head of ICRC Regional and Mehdi Drissi, FAO Representative in the UAE and attended by several local and international non-governmental organisations, UAE charities, governmental entities, and other humanitarian agencies.

“There are several rising challenges facing the humanitarian action and the IHC is keen to continue its efforts in developing innovative solutions and introduce successful milestones in the history of the humanitarian action,” Shaima Al Zarooni, IHC CEO said, adding, “Governments have a great role in leading the way by setting national execution plan, while understanding and implementing the international humanitarian law is crucial to achieve our objectives.”

A panel discussion involving speakers from all three organisations covered and debated the links between principles of humanitarian action and Islamic teachings. Moreover, the panel highlighted the importance of the International Humanitarian Law in regulating conflict in order to minimize human suffering; and the constant balance needed between the military necessity arising in a state of war and the needs for humanitarian protection.

The discussion was followed by presentations from both the NRC and the ICRC displaying their own experiences depicting innovation in humanitarian action. The NRC, an IHC member since 2013, presented its use of statistics and variables to anticipate displacement trends being an innovative approach allowing better analysis and detection of needs. “NRC’s work in the region and its acceptance by the populations we serve in illustrates the strong analogies between humanitarian principles and Islam,” said Mario Stephan, the NRC’s representative for the region. “Applying innovation to our work enables us to better serve our beneficiaries” he added.

The main objective of this forum is to shed the light on the Islamic Humanitarian heritage and modern judicial thinking on topics related to warfare and humanitarian principles and rules such as the obligation to protect the wounded, detained and civilians. “It also aims at laying the foundations for greater mutual understanding, dispelling existing misconceptions and finding common ground for protecting human dignity in situations of armed conflicts,” said Yahia Alibi Head of ICRC Regional Delegation for the GCC Countries.

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