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Xavier Guilhou: “Humanitarian diplomacy and management of major international crises: New challenges, new tasks”

The lessons that have been learned from recent major crises both on the security, humanitarian, or health plans, than those related to major natural disasters and migration flows, challenge the best professionals and specialists worldwide on the limits of concepts, processes of organization and management as our levels of expertise.

Indeed postures adopted in the field by most institutions and organizations are rapidly in troubles, or simply failed, or even neutralized face to the complexity of the situations, we have only to look the last earthquake in Nepal through Fukushima, Haiti, Katrina, major pandemics, civil wars in the Middle East or in Africa, migration flows across the Mediterranean.

The complexity of operations with, the background of failed states, some very fragile urban environments and vulnerable or manipulated populations by community confrontations, religious, societal, do not facilitate the emergence of immutable concepts, as was the case with the epic humanitarian behind the “French doctors” .in the years 60/80

Today the lasting effects of major natural disasters, climate changes, such as those generated by large regional geopolitical tensions, in terms of collective destruction, but also impacts in terms of public health, require more cross-sectoral approaches between disciplines and expertise in the management of crises. It has indeed become more and more crucial to address most of the major international meetings with approaches that allow diplomats, military, humanitarian, professionals some ways out of crisis and reconstruction, international organizations, NGOs and other various members of civil society by adding their expertise and talents.

In this perspective, the concept of “humanitarian diplomacy”, which is being increasingly used to discuss new ways of mediation and action for the benefit of suffering populations deserves a deep reflection. The feedbacks that are practiced after every big event are valuable analytical bases providing input for studies of new procedures and emerging types of organizations to be favored. Regional approaches are also interesting to understand their cultural, community and religious meanning, while the issue of people’s resilience and reconstruction of countries affected by civil wars, epidemics, and natural disasters become real challenges for international organizations as the Order of Malta, which is located in regions marked by recurrent and enduring crises.

These are the substantive issues intends to address this new site allowing access to analyzes, lessons, having step back but also of the great practitioners of speech-making, in the spirit that brought the French Foundation of Order of Malta to organize an International Conference on Humanitarian Diplomacy and International Crisis Management in partnership with the French Navy in Paris on UNESCO Headquarter in January 2011.

Xavier GUILHOU,
Counsellor of the French Foundation of the Order of Malta
(11/04/2015)