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Posts Tagged ‘NRC’

Norway: Jan Egeland new Secretary General of Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Posted by African Press International on June 7, 2013

Jan Egeland has been appointed new Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the largest humanitarian organization in Norway. Egeland was UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (2003-06), and currently holds the position as Europe Director of Human Rights Watch.

“As Secretary General of NRC, Egeland will be a courageous spokesperson for the displaced people in the world. Through his career, Egeland has built experience and expertise that make him uniquely qualified to lead the organization towards its vision of ’Rights Respected and People Protected’. Together with the dedicated staff of NRC, Egeland will continue to build NRC as a leading international humanitarian organisation”, says Idar Kreutzer, Chairman of the Board of NRC.

When Egeland was UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (2003-06) he initiated a wide-reaching reform of the international humanitarian system, strengthened the partnership between UN agencies and NGOs and lead the international humanitarian response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami and emergencies from Darfur and Central Africa to Lebanon and the Horn of Africa. Since then, he has been Executive Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and is currently Europe Director of Human Rights Watch. Earlier, Egeland has been Secretary General for the Norwegian Red Cross, UN Special Advisor for the peace negotiations in Colombia and Norwegian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1997. Egeland has served on the board of the International Crisis Group and held several positions with Amnesty International. In 2006 he was named by Time Magazine as “one of 100 people who  shape our world.”

In a statement, Mr Egeland says: “In wars and disasters around the world I have often witnessed how NRC is able, against all odds, to provide lifesaving relief to those in greatest need. The acronym ‘NRC’ has become synonymous with effective relief for displaced people and stand-by experts for humanitarian operations world-wide. It is with great pride that I look forward to take up the position as Secretary General. The humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria will be an immediate priority in our work, but NRC will remain a leading force for the civilian population in the worst displacement crisis world-wide. We will be there when the needs are greatest – from Central Africa to  Afghanistan and from Sudan to Colombia.”

NRC is a leading Norwegian humanitarian organization, assisting more than 3 million beneficiaries in 2012 throughout 20 conflict regions. In addition, NRC seconded hundreds of stand-by experts to humanitarian operations in over 50 countries during 2012. NRC was founded in 1946 and currently has 3,500 staff. Egeland will take over from Elisabeth Rasmusson, who in April 2013 became Assistant Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

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Historic agreement between Norwegian Refugee Council and African Union signed

Posted by African Press International on April 23, 2013

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has signed a historic agreement with the African Union (AU). “We hope this strategic partnership agreement will strengthen both NRC’s and the AU’s efforts towards helping displaced people in Africa”, says Toril Brekke, Acting Secretary General of Norwegian Refugee Council.

The agreement was concluded between Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Mrs. Brekke at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday 19th of April.

“We are very pleased to enter into this strategic partnership with the AU. This enables us to increase our activities in conflict-affected areas in Africa and to distribute humanitarian aid even more effectively”, says Brekke.

www.africanpress.me/ - Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Toril Brekke, Acting Secretary General of NRC, concluded an agreement between AU and NRC at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday 19th of April. Here they are photographed together with Commissioner of Political Affairs Dr. Aisha Abdullahi (to the left) and Hassan Khaire, Regional Director for NRC Horn of Africa (to the right). Photo: Erik Abild, NRC

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Toril Brekke, Acting Secretary General of NRC, concluded an agreement between AU and NRC at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday 19th of April. Here they are photographed together with Commissioner of Political Affairs Dr. Aisha Abdullahi (to the left) and Hassan Khaire, Regional Director for NRC Horn of Africa (to the right). Photo: Erik Abild, NRC

NRC is the first Norwegian organisation, and one of the few international aid agencies, to have this type of strategic partnership with the AU. Under the agreement, the AU will help the NRC to get access to refugees and internally displaced persons in the AU member states. In addition, NRC and AU agree to work together to strengthen the rights of the displaced in AU member states, including supporting the implementation of the Kampala Convention for the protection of internally displaced. NRC’s Internally Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) will play a key role in this.

“For NRC, the AU is an equally important organisation as the EU. AU member states cover a vast continent where there are currently about four million refugees and ten million internally displaced persons. With support from the AU, we can reach even more of these people. In addition, we appreciate being able to cooperate with the AU on supporting implementation of the Kampala Convention, a ground-breaking new legal framework which binds governments to protect and assist internally displaced persons, ” says Brekke.

AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Dr. Aisha Abdullahi underlined the strategic importance of partnering with NRC: “The scourge of forced displacements in Africa requires a consolidated effort. Therefore, the signing of an MOU with the Norwegian Refugee Council today, goes a long way in solidifying our joint efforts towards alleviating the suffering of victims of conflicts and disasters in Africa”, she said in a press release

NRC has already similar strategic relationships with other actors such as UNHCR, but it is the first time the organisation enters into an agreement with a regional body like the AU. However, the cooperation with the AU and African governments is nothing new. Through the years, the NRC’s emergency roster has assisted the AU with specialists in several areas, and NRC is currently working in twelve African countries.

“Our emergency roster’s effective cooperation with the AU, as well as our increased activity in several locations in Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, has probably played an important role for the AU’s desire to raise our cooperation to a strategic level. I think this partnership will be important and gratifying for both the AU and the Norwegian Refugee Council,”says Brekke.

Norway’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Odd-Inge Kvalheim, welcomes the new agreement: “Norway has large ambitions in the field of humanitarianism. To reach these ambitions we need professional Norwegian organisations that are able to make a difference. We are therefore glad that we have been able to support NRC in their work with establishing close relations to the AU”.


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