HRH Princess Haya Inaugurates the 10th Edition
of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition
Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the tenth Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) was inaugurated on the 25th of March 2013 by UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
DIHAD adopted “Building Effective and Sustainable Partnerships in humanitarian Assistance and Development Activities” as the theme for its tenth edition. The conference touched upon key issues related to improving partnerships within critical humanitarian and development issues. Moreover, the topics also focused on involving partnerships in the food security and disaster response processes, in addition, the conference highlighted the progress that DIHAD achieved during the past ten years and discussed the future plans for this highly important conference.
HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein delivered a remarkable speech during the opening ceremony that touched upon all pressing issues that humanitarians have been going through and also on how to encourage partnership[s within the societies working in this field.
In a speech delivered on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s representative in the Western Region and Chief of the Red Crescent Authority, HE Al Mazroui said: “DIHAD has become an official platform for active initiatives which preserves human dignity, it is known globally as a milestone in the humanitarian and relief fields. Therefore, the United Arab Emirates is always keen to play an active role in this field while following the directives of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the support of His Highnesses Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. We thrive to enhance the exhilarating efforts of the UAE to support the humanitarian field and sustain our social and moral responsibilities towards the misfortunate people in the world.”
In his speech, HE Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est. and Chairman of the Higher Committee DIHAD stated that: “today we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition which successfully managed for the past ten years to gather the most prominent international organizations and agencies specialized in the humanitarian field under one roof to work together and support the communities and provide all types of logistical and technical assistance necessary.”
HE also added: “A lot of organizations right now support their subsidiaries and help them interact exclusively with the development of partnerships between individuals in addition to adopt restructuring based on the activation of strategic partnerships. I hope that DIHAD conference and exhibition achieves the desired goals through the sessions and private meetings that the event offers for three days along with the experts participating in those sessions whom are focusing in their sessions on the theme: “Building Effective and Sustainable Partnerships in humanitarian Assistance and Development Activities”.
In his speech, HE Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees, said, “In the ten years since its inception, DIHAD has become an event of global importance. None of the major humanitarian and development goals – be it to eliminate poverty, foster education and healthcare, rebuild communities destroyed by war, or help the victims of humanitarian crises – can be achieved in isolation.”
As part of the program, HRH Princess Haya toured the exhibition, visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Society, the Tkiyet Umm Ali, the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai Cares, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, and the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, booths, to name just a few.
The DIHAD conference and exhibition promotes discussion in order to find best methods and solutions through constructive interaction between specialized humanitarian bodies. The DIHAD conference and exhibition also encouraged partnerships between humanitarian and development associations, while exhibitors at the DIHAD exhibition displayed their latest humanitarian products and. Over the past ten years, DIHAD has become the largest humanitarian and development event in the Middle East and North Africa.
More than 275 exhibitors representing governmental and non-governmental organizations, charity organizations, healthcare sector, medical equipment suppliers and temporary hospitals participated in the DIHAD exhibition this year. Moreover, there were around 50 speakers and specialists from the humanitarian and development field participating in DIHAD from 66 countries.
On the sidelines of the conference, the Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Ms. Christine Beerli, reiterated that partnerships form a key aspect of ICRC’s work, involving the national societies and local partners. A key trend in the current humanitarian landscape is the resurgence of host countries blocking access to affected populations, and more localized humanitarian response with a larger range of actors. A recent development is the auto-assessment by beneficiaries through web-based technologies, considering them as partners than as passive victims. ICRC has embarked on a new project to achieve safer practice for health care workers through cooperation with key national societies. Cooperation with peacekeeping operations was being promoted through pre-deployment training on humanitarian principles.
The UK Minister of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan MP, mentioned the positive role played by all six GCC countries, now recognized as key players in the humanitarian and development arena. It is now becoming increasingly important to establish new partnerships with all actors to establish a universal process for pledges of funding and concrete actions in their follow-up. He also agreed that better results can be achieved through sharing best common practices.
According to the Under-Secretary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr. Mattias Schmale, lessons had shown the need for coalitions and successful partnerships with a clear purpose and benefit for all parties. The 187 national societies and IFRC established a code of good partnership, which was applied only to a limited extent. An important criteria is the respect for dialogue and other perspectives, and agreement on the overall purpose, i.e. providing the best assistance possible.
The Secretary-General of the International Islamic Relief Organisation, Mr. Ehssan Saleh Seraj Taieb, referred to the role of NGOs in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. He summarised partnerships as integration of parties, governments and civil society, private sector, media and also academia.
The International Humanitarian City was represented by Ms Ranya Hammad, who mentioned partnerships having focused on humanitarian operations such as response to the Haiti earthquake, evacuations of UN staff, facilitation of the Humanitarian Appeal, training with United Nations Office for the Co-Ordiantion of humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), hosting the World Humanitarian Day event in Dubai, and issuing the first Humanitarian Journalism award.
The Executive Chairman of DIHAD, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, highlighted the great achievements of DIHAD during the past ten years, and he extended his gratitude to HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for his patronage of DIHAD and HRH Princes Haya Bint Al Hussein wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed for her continuous support. He also thanked all the speakers, participants and visitors who made this exhibition a great success.
There was also a videocast message by H.E. Ms Valerie Amos, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, who called for better coordination and collaboration and stressed the value of DIHAD as a platform for exchanging ideas.
Capitalizing on the theme of this years’ edition, “Building Effective and Sustainable Partnerships in Humanitarian Assistance and Development Activities”, a number of agreements were signed during this edition of DIHAD. The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) participating in the DIHAD exhibition signed an MOU with Microsoft Gulf today. Through the MOU, Microsoft will provide Microsoft programs for 21 humanitarian and charity organizations that are licensed and accredited by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai. More than 1200 employees working in these organizations will benefit from this donation, such as Mohammed bin Rashid Humanitarian and Charity Est. , Dar Al Ber Society, Al Maktoum Foundation, Dubai Charity Association, Dubai Cares, and Noor Dubai Foundation to name a few.
On the sidelines of the exhibition today, Dubai Police and Noor Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand the scope of work between the two entities in the field of prevention and treatment of curable blindness and low vision.
The MoU was signed between Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police and HE Essa Al Maidoor, Chairman of the board of Directors of Noor Dubai, at the Noor Dubai stand at DIHAD which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre.
As per the MoU, Dubai Police will contribute a total of two million dirhams over the next three years, this includes AED 500,000 which Dubai Police donated to Noor Dubai as part of its inmates screening program last year.
After the completion of the press conference, the Chief of Dubai Police, Lt. Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim announced the re-launch of the International Emergency and Catastrophe Management Conference and Exhibition (IECM) which will be held in its ninth edition next year in conjunction with DIHAD conference and Exhibition. The IECM is connected with DIHAD in so many ways as they both tackle the emergency and humanitarian field; they also share the same concerning topics. The IECM will be held under the theme: “Emergency and Catastrophe in Human Resources”.
Lt Gen Dhahi Kahlfan announced his full support to the IECM, and announced that Dubai Police will be present in the event next year.
Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan also called for organizing training workshops during the conference and called for an annual meeting to discuss the topics that shall be featured during the conference and also to discuss possible challenges and how to avoid them. He also praised the idea of organizing this event which will gather all specialized organizations in the field of emergency and catastrophe and he asked these organizations to join their efforts and deliver their best in this field.
The International Emergency and Catastrophe Management Conference and Exhibition (IECM) will discuss different topics, including: Emergency Medicine, Emergency Management, Trauma Activation, Trauma Management, Pre-hospital Care, Neurological Emergencies, Psychological Emergency, Disaster Activation, Disaster Resources and Disaster Logistics.
The DIHAD conference and exhibition registered more than 7300 visitors and participants at the end of the show.