Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kofi Annan Launches Global Humanitarian Forum

A formal announcement has finally been made concering the Global Humanitarian Forum, a new organization created by from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with support from the Swiss Government. Based in Geneva, the Forum will help people in poor countries play a greater role in finding solutions to their developmental and humanitarian problems.

While the former SG is vague on precisely what the organization will do, he does provide one precise example of what they might do:

'For example, he says the United Nations and other members of the humanitarian community would not have been able to deal with natural disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the earthquake in Kashmir without the help of the military.

"If the military had not come in and provided heavy logistical support … many more people would have died as we would not have been able to get to them," said the former U.N. chief. "And, so the military have become important players in humanitarian relief. And, yet, when we get together to discuss humanitarian issues, they are not around, they are not at the table."

"I think we would want to bring them to the table to discuss with humanitarian actors how we could cooperate. And, from my own previous experience, I know it is not an easy relationship," he added.

Mr. Annan says he recognizes private aid groups are not comfortable working with the military. He says he hopes the Forum can improve this relationship