Amman / Geneva, 29 January 2017 – The leaders of National Red and Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region concluded the 9th MENA conference by making a collective commitment to furthering humanitarian action in the region.

The MENA conference was hosted by Jordan National Red Crescent Society in Amman, Jordan during the past week, and brought together senior leadership of 17 National Societies from across the MENA region. Observers representatives from National Societies beyond MENA, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as other humanitarian organizations including the UN were also present.

Explaining that we are living in times of unprecedented human suffering, Secretary General of the IFRC, Elhadj As Sy stated: “It is exactly in times like that this that we are needed more than ever before. We have to work together to one simple goal – save lives, alleviate human suffering. We need to design programmes that contribute to that.”

“What is most important to people is their human dignity; it is only when we address this that we can have a future of peace and stability,” he added.

Tadateru Konoé, President of the IFRC, attended the conference and was received by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. Mr Konoé expressed thanks to the King on behalf of our Movement for his personal commitment to humanitarian action in Jordan, as well as the wider MENA region.

At the conclusion of the conference, delegates approved the “Amman Declaration”, which addresses the promotion peace and a culture of non-violence, protection of and assistance to people on the move, reducing risk and enhancing humanitarian response in urban environments, climate change, protection of volunteers, and ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in humanitarian response.

Through the declaration, conference delegates committed their National Societies to work both individually and collaboratively to respond to the evolving humanitarian issues of the Middle East and North Africa region.

Some 20 young people were among the conference delegates, ensuring that the contribution of youth volunteering was reflected throughout the conference. National Societies agreed that empowerment of youth is key to realizing the shared vision set forth in the declaration.

National Societies also agreed to work more closely with their respective governments in order to fulfil their humanitarian mission, in line with global agreements. They also called on partners to expand and enhance existing cooperation, with the aim of providing better humanitarian services to the disaster-affected and vulnerable people.

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