INFO: Nicole Guedj, former Minister and President of the Red Helmets Foundation, will be in Haiti on Thursday, January 21.
RED HELMETS AT THE UN TO ORGANIZE RELIEF
Subject: Nicole GUEDJ, former Secretary of State for the Victim’s Right and President of the Red Helmets Foundation calls for the creation of an ‘international humanitarian task force’ at the UN: the Red Helmets.
Confronted to the magnitude of the disaster in Haiti, the international community has failed. Yet, all the means were there. We have to face the facts, once again the disorganization of the relief teams and the total lack of coordination between the various actors made the local situation even more chaotic.
According to Nicole GUEDJ: ‘We could have thought the lessons of the tsunami and Katrina understood, the intervention of the rescue teams in Haiti would have been more organized and coordinated. But once again, the teams on the field lacked a "coordinator" in the urgency and thousands of Haitian victims have paid the tribe. We well know that during the 72 hours after a disaster the rescue teams are more occupied with counting the dead than saving lives.’
Collective awareness brutally struck the spirits and the proposals are beginning to see the day: Arno Klarsfeld, State Advisor, with the idea of a "European humanitarian Legion" and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Union, with that of a "humanitarian European force". Very welcomed, these initiatives do not seem to inscribe themselves within the appropriate scale.
According to Nicole GUEDJ: ‘Only the United Nations has the necessary legitimacy to intervene on any disaster field and coordinate governmental and non-governmental teams. Humanitarian action must enter into a new era. Only the United Nations can make this change and establish a new mode of humanitarian governance.’
For more than 10 years, the former Secretary of State for the Victim’s Right advocates for the creation of humanitarian brothers of the blue helmets. This 100 % humanitarian relief organization would be endowed with a strengthened high command that would anticipate risks, identify needs and mutualise existent human and material resources; regional centres based on every continent, ready to intervene in emergency; and an additional operational force task that could be mobilized at any time to coordinate the actions of the rescue teams deployed in the emergency.
According to Nicole Guedj: ‘In 2004, after the tsunami, while I was Secretary of State for the Victim’s Right, France proposed the creation of the Red Helmets at the UN. Kofi Annan had accepted the principle and if everything had gone as planed we would have been ready to respond effectively in Haiti. But once the crisis passed, media pressure fell, and no one cares about the hundreds of thousands of victims of natural disasters. Until the next shake.’
Nicole Guedj proposal is explained in her manifesto, ‘For Red Helmets at the UN’ published last September in the Cherche-Midi editions.
More information: www.casques-rouges.org