UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos Concludes Visit to Iran, Highlighting Valuable Partnership

TERHAN, 15 September 2013 (UNIC)--Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, wrapped up a three-day visit to Iran today, welcoming the opportunity to work more closely with the Islamic Republic 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 USG Amos. “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 H.E. Dr. Zarif, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Ghaddami, President of the National Disaster management Organization and Deputy Minister of Interior; Dr. Farhadi, President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, other senior officials and representatives of the diplomatic and humanitarian community, and NGOs.

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 USG Amos.

USG Amos 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. 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.”