ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 3, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Dr. Jean Ping, received in his office at the AUC Headquarters, on Thursday, the 2nd of February 2012, the credentials of the new Permanent Observer of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Ms. Jeanine M. Cooper.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson Ping welcomed the new Permanent Observer and assured her of the full support of the Commission, adding that the African Union appreciates the work of OCHA and understands the challenges of humanitarian work in Africa, particularly in conflict zones.
The Chairperson commended the Head of OCHA, Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos, for doing an outstanding job under very difficult circumstances and expressed the renewed commitment of the AU to continue working to facilitate the activities of OCHA in Africa.
On her part, the new Permanent Observer thanked the Chairperson for his warm welcome and conveyed to Dr. Ping the high regards of USG Valerie Amos.
The OCHA Representative commended the Commission, under the leadership of Chairperson Ping, for organizing last August’s highly successful Pledging Conference, during which over USD350 million was contributed by Africans to help drought victims in the Horn of Africa.
“Humanitarian assistance is not foreign to Africa; helping our neighbours is part and parcel of our culture. The Pledging Conference, therefore, was a natural demonstration of a cultural propensity in Africans to care for each other,” the OCHA Representative said.
Ms. Cooper underscored the important role played by the African Union in shaping perceptions of humanitarian work in the Continent and thanked the Chairperson for the assistance OCHA has always received from the Commission.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is the part of the UN Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. Its mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention; and facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions.
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