UN hails Iran for efficient disaster response
UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brian, praised Iran’s well-developed system for disaster preparedness and response, calling on Iran to join the UN Disaster and Assessment teams.
United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien made the remarks during a press conference held on Sep. 5 at UN Information Center in Tehran.
He expressed his appreciation to the government and the people of Iran for the hospitality and warm welcome they showed on his first visit to Iran as the UN’s humanitarian chief, adding “I have had an important opportunity to discuss with key government officials and humanitarian partners how we can strengthen the partnership between the UN and Iran to improve cooperation and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, particularly in the Middle East region.”
The UN humanitarian chief pointed to various natural disasters with devastating effects that occur in the region, adding “Iran has a well-developed system for disaster preparedness and response and often generously shares its capacity and expertise when responding to emergencies in other countries.”
He went on to add, “I have encouraged the Iranian authorities to become members of the International Search and Rescue and UN Disaster and Assessment teams, which would be of mutual benefit for the international community and for Iran.”
O’Brien then referred to the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, while noting the UN attempts at improving aid operations in the region and commending Iran for its important role in helping UN gain better access for humanitarian organizations in the region and elsewhere.
He further highlighted the importance of ‘neutrality’, ‘impartiality’, and ‘independence’ of humanitarian work in the UN.
O’Brien pointed to his meeting with Amir Mohsen Ziaie, President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, saying ‘he is doing tremendous work to support emergency and relief operations in Iran and in the region.”
“In my meeting with General Gholamreza Jalali, Head of the Passive Defense Organization, we discussed concrete steps for cooperation on emergency preparedness,” he added.
“I look forward to working more closely with our Iranian partners to further improve the international humanitarian system, so we can respond effectively, efficiently, and fast to crises now and in the future,” he concluded.
Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, arrived in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit to hold talks with a number of Iranian officials on ways to expand cooperation on humanitarian affairs. In his meetings with Special Advisor to the Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, and Deputy FM for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the two sides discussed the important role Iran plays in ensuring access to those in need.