From 26 to 27 March 2017, the conference on International Humanitarian Action was held in Doha, Qatar, with the aims at strengthening cooperation, building partnerships in the field and seeking funding for joint projects in the field of humanitarian action between organisations of different backgrounds and worldviews.
The conference brought together 200 participants including representatives of more than 70 aid agencies from Asia, Africa, Europe and America, representatives of the UN, the OIC and the Arab League, and a number of diplomats and academics.
The speakers and participants of the conference have made a number of recommendations including the need for:
- Collaboration in developing guidance and standards for charities and for promoting information-sharing between charities and with other bodies;
- The recognition of existing international structures as a framework for collaborative and integrated work;
- Practical joint action, in order to overcome stereotypes, build trust and practical steps to overcome obstacles and challenges;
- The pursuit of more independent research into the consequences of a humanitarian vacuum caused by the designation of charitable organizations with religious references, which leads to increasing poverty and insecurity, and the exacerbation of violence and extremism;
- Capacity-building among such charities in order to meet the changing landscape of the humanitarian field;
- Identification and highlighting of the strengths of Islamic charities, for example, their ability to reach Muslim-majority communities, as well as their vast corps of humanitarian volunteers for humanitarian work;
- Conflict transformation methodologies in building practical partnerships for effective collaborative fieldwork, including the application of conflict sensitive practices;
- Respect for diversity among religious and non-religious actors prevents discrimination and reduces differences and tensions in humanitarian and charitable work;
- Consolidating joint action within the framework of international laws and enhancing trust between institutions to achieve greater protection from various suspicions, fabricated crises and unjust laws.
The above recommendations and proposals were discussed during the sessions of the conference. Among the main outcomes is the establishment of the “Geneva Platform for the Work of Goodness”, which will be the practical product of this conference that brought together representatives of organisations from the East and West, in the interest of humanity; in addition the participants recommended to hold the conference on a regular basis.
For more information on the Conference: