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Princess Haya Inaugurates 9th DIHAD Conference

(WAM) / 1 April 2012

DUBAI - Under the patronage of HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) was inaugurated today by UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

HRH Princess Haya was accompanied by Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est., Chairman of the Higher Committee DIHAD and President of DISAB. Ahmed Humaid Al Mazroui, Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, William Lacy Swing, Director-General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as well as a number of local and international figures also accompanied Princess Haya.

This year’s theme, ‘The Role and Importance of Youth in Humanitarian Assistance and Development Activities’, highlights the issues of youth in affected areas and the pursuit of providing them with development while implementing appropriate activities that will help them maintain the development process in the future.

DIHAD conference will also discuss pressing issues related to youth as agents of change and innovation in addition to their role in the volunteering process, learning more skills and handling responsibilities. The conference program will also focus on the development activities and humanitarian assistance through highlighting the role of the youth in conflicts and post-conflict reconciliation.

‘Young people today have been raised in the digital age – they are accustomed to the fast movement of ideas, products and information, to instant gratification,’ stated HRH Princess Haya, who spoke at the opening ceremony.

‘The pace of change in their daily lives has quickened and they are not patient. If I were a teenager or in my twenties today, I would be nervous, angry and frustrated’.

‘People under-estimate the capacity of youth,’ continued HRH Princess Haya. ‘How is it that we give them so little a role in setting the global development agenda or helping find new routes to ending political conflicts that deplete our energy and resources? Our world is in economic and political flux, some even say danger. We look to our youth today to help us imagine a new one’, the princess added.

Al Mazroui, in a speech delivered on behalf of HH Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s representative in Western Region and Chairman of the Red Crescent Authority, said: ‘The United Arab Emirates stands at the forefront of the worlds key humanitarian players and it is committed to move forward with its approach that strengthen human ethics, rights and basic needs and put it at the forefront of our priorities. The UAE Red Crescent Authority follows the path of decency and generosity for the past three decades and we are keen to support all the needy who suffer in this world.

We know that our responsibilities are enormous and it is derived from our national responsibility towards those who suffer. And because human suffering has no identity, our humanitarian program and development plans reach all the affected countries and nations without any discrimination’.

“The ninth edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition is outstanding this year because it highlights a fundamental issue that is related to youth and their role in the humanitarian and development field. As you know, young people are the real value of our humanitarian organizations, therefore; we should invest their energies in favor of the relief and humanitarian work and enhance their role in planning leadership programs and field operations while providing them with quality training, rehabilitation and equip them with humanitarian principles andthe love of volunteer work.

We are looking forward through this conference to achieve more strategic partnerships that meet with our aspirations while strengthening the role of youth and utilize their skills and abilities to serve the humanitarian issues. From our side, we will spare no effort in providing every possible effort required towards achieving the desired goals, and we shall strengthen connections between local organizations for a better future,” Al Mazroui added.

In his speech, Ibrahim Bumelha said: “In the past nine years, DIHAD has excelled in attracting the world’s key humanitarian executives and leaders to Dubai, providing a platform where they can share their expertise, express their opinions and contribute to solutions that would have major input in raising the standard of living. These solutions would target affected communities, building their capabilities and teach them how to respond quickly and more effectively during a crisis”.

He also said that the DIHAD conference is a physical translation towards humanitarian efforts of the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. DIHAD is considered the largest event in the region dedicated to humanitarian sector which is considered the most dynamic sectors and fastest-growing at the present time.

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), the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department booths, to name just a few.

The DIHAD conference and Exhibition promotes discussion in order to find best practices and solutions through constructive interaction between specialized humanitarian bodies. The DIHAD conference and exhibition also encourages partnerships between humanitarian and development associations, while exhibitors at the DIHAD exhibition display their latest humanitarian products and offer direct supply by suppliers.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition and President of INDEX Holding said: “More than 275 exhibitors from 66 countries representing governmental and non-governmental organizations, charity organizations, healthcare sector, medical equipment suppliers and temporary hospitals are participating in the DIHAD exhibition this year. DIHAD is considered the largest humanitarian annual event in the MENA region dedicated to community development, relief and crisis management”.

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions - member of INDEX Holding and sponsored by the International Islamic Relief Organisation – KSA.

The event is also supported by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Cares, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the International Humanitarian City and other international and regional organizations.

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