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Meeting the new humanitarian challenges of the 21st century


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Speaker(s): Sir John Holmes, Professor James Putzel
Chair: Dr Margot Salomon

Recorded on 28 April 2008 in New Theatre, East Building.

Emergency relief efforts face multiple challenges in the next five years: preserving 'humanitarian space' and staying independent of political/military action in places like Darfur, Iraq and Somalia; increasing effective coordination of the many humanitarian actors in the field; rising to the challenge of ever more natural disasters from the effects of climate change; and coping with the immediate consequences for the poorest of the recent structural shift upwards in food prices. How central a role can the UN play in addressing these challenges, and how can UN agencies, international and national NGOs and the Red Cross/Crescent movement work together most effectively? John Holmes is UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, a position he has held since March 2007. He succeeded Mr. Jan Egeland in this post.

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