Iran: UN Humanitarian Chief hails strengthened partnership with Islamic Republic

16 September, 2013
15 September 2013, Tehran, Iran: UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos speaks at a press conference in the Iranian capital of Tehran at the end of her three-day visit to the Islamic Republic. Credit: UNIC Iran
15 September 2013, Tehran, Iran: UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos speaks at a press conference in the Iranian capital of Tehran at the end of her three-day visit to the Islamic Republic. Credit: UNIC Iran

United Nations Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos wrapped up a three-day visit to Iran on Sunday (15 September) by welcoming the opportunity to work more closely with the Islamic Republic in regional and international humanitarian affairs.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Tehran, Ms. Amos praised Iran’s disaster management capacity.

“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,” she said. “I am delighted to have signed a joint statement with the Government to strengthen our partnership to improve regional cooperation on humanitarian assistance.”

During her visit USG Amos met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif,  The President of the National Disaster management organization and deputy Interior Minister, Hassan  Ghaddami, and the President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Mohammad Farhadi, as well as other senior officials and representatives from NGOs and the diplomatic and humanitarian community.

Ms. Amos said that 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,” she said. “Iran has much to contribute to the debate on the future of the humanitarian system.”

A region in crisis

USG Amos also thanked the people and the Government of Iran for their generosity and solidarity in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees. There are more than 850,000 refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan living in Iran, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Many Afghan refugees have been in Iran for decades and Ms. Amos called on the international community to continue supporting Iran and Afghanistan’s efforts to provide long-term solutions for them.

Ms. Amos also took the opportunity to brief officials on her most recent visit to Damascus, and to discuss the destabilizing impact of the conflict in Syria across the broader Middle East, with millions of people displaced inside the country and across borders.

“As others continue to pursue a political solution to the conflict in Syria, I can only stress the massive human cost,” said USG Amos. “I briefed the Foreign Minister and others on my 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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