Aug 17, 2014, 8:20 PM
News ID: 2734442
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Amos: UN seeks cooperation with Iran in information sharing on crisis management

Tehran, Aug 17, IRNA – The UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos on Sunday announced that the UN favors cooperation with Iran in sharing information on crisis management as the country ranks sixth worldwide in term of being prone to natural disasters.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA, Amos said there is a lot of experience available to Iran that are important to share.

Amos referred to her last year's visit to Iran during which an agreement was signed with Iran for cooperation in disaster management and said there has been progress in implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.

She said last year quakes were simulated and all people involved in responding to the disaster, including local government, national government, the UN agencies, communities and civil society organizations involved in the event came together to see as if quake happened, which is exactly the meaning of simulation.

She added that the UN has a plan of action and wants to see what can be done in difficult areas, including knowledge and information sharing, quality of management of information and quality of capacity building.

The UN official said there are two international networks Iran can join, including the international Search and Rescue Organization (INSARAG), which is the network of countries that have search and rescue teams and the internationally accredited and the team goes to another countries and help if there is a disaster. The other network, she added, is the UNDAC, which is the UN Disaster Assessment System and this is individuals trained but in a lot of skills. This is a lot of skills you need when disaster happens, she said, adding, so people are in the form of teams and come to help in the particular situation in a team work form of help.

Asked whether the UN would join the Iran suggested Gaza assistance coalition, if any, Amos said we already have systems in place to get aid quickly to Gazans and what we need Iran to do is that it asks us to go to Gaza, Cairo and occupied Palestine territory to help.

Asked to comment on Iran's help to Gazans, Amos said Iran is an important country in the region and has influential role with respect to aiding. "If you look at Afghanistan, Iraq and a number of countries facing difficulty that Iran would help to resolve you will come across with three instances: In Afghanistan, Iran hosts at least one million refugees and many believe the number is higher. Iran plays significant humanitarian role in Afghanistan. Iran wants to see a stable and secure Afghanistan."

She said on Syria case, Iran has a very important role to play in helping the UN get government of Syria to meet the humanitarian need of Syrians. So Iran has a very important role and worked to get local countries agreed. So we can get aid in."

As for Iraq, she added, Iran has expressed a great deal of concern about the situation of minorities in the country but Iran also expressed concern about what happened on the Shia majority as a result of action of armed groups and terrorists. So it is important for Iran to work with other states that are seeking to find solution to conflict in Iraq, she noted.

Asked on anti-Iran sanctions and the UN role in that connection, Amos said sanctions are economic subject in nature with humanitarian consequences. She said the medicine was successfully excluded from the sanctions list and the WHO and UNICEF tried to work with Iran in that respect. She said she believed the problem is not medicine but the payment as Iran has had problem with the way of payment for the imported medicine. She noted that WHO and the UN had provided Iran with an offer for help in that regard but Iran has not given any answer in that connection.

Amos said she was very concerned with any humanitarian impact of the sanctions that are unintended as a result of the sanctions regime.

Asked on Daesh and its treatment of women, Amos said violence and brutality against women in Iraq is something the UN shares concern about, being extremely worried. "It's one of our priorities to protect women from this violence but it is hard because so many places are unsafe where UN is not able to go."

On goals of her Iran visit, she said she followed three goals, one being in connection with a MoU signed last year to strengthen work in terms of disaster management, the other being the humanitarian crisis in the region and the need to talk with Iranian officials on the issue and the third goal being the World Humanitarian Day to commemorate those losing life while fulfilling humanitarian mission as a duty.

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