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The joint Third World Conference on Humanitarian Studies (WCHS) and Third Istanbul Human Security Conference will be held 24-27 October 2013 in Istanbul. This is an exciting opportunity for PHAP members and colleagues to take part in a community-wide discussion on the topic of human security – how recent human security risks, threats, and crises in different parts of the world affects the humanitarian sector, and how we should respond to such challenges. In collaboration with senior members and other regular contributors to its training programs, PHAP is preparing to organize several panels during the conference, in order to promote knowledge-sharing within the association and in the wider humanitarian community.
As the global association for professionals in humanitarian assistance and protection, PHAP has members located all over the world. This brings with it great opportunities in terms of the diversity of experience and expertise and the value this brings to the member network. In order to better reflect the global nature of the association and respond to requests from members for improved communication channels, PHAP has set up five new call-in numbers in humanitarian hubs in different regions.
PHAP’s advanced professional training on humanitarian law and policy is a well-established professional development program. It creates opportunities for experienced professionals in the humanitarian sector to deepen their knowledge of international humanitarian law (IHL) with the help of expert trainers and facilitators. We are now giving current students and recent university graduates an opportunity to get involved with these courses as volunteers, assisting with the logistics of the events.
From 21-22 May, PHAP participated as a partner and exhibitor at the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) in Washington, DC. Held over two days under the broad theme of how to follow up on the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, the forum’s 25 workshop and conference sessions attracted over 1700 humanitarian and development professionals. All three ways that PHAP aimed to connect with members and the wider community at the event were a success: their booth in the exhibition, the Executive Director’s participation in the conference, and the separate PHAP members’ meet-up held in conjunction with the event.
After being launched in January this year, the PHAP member articles have quickly become among the most popular content on our website – both for members and for other visitors. To improve accessibility to the articles and the discussion surrounding them, we have introduced two new features: PDF versions of the articles and comment aggregation.
With an average of twelve years of professional experience, PHAP’s members have solid grounding in their respective fields. In an effort to help members share this knowledge, PHAP has been involving the more experienced of them in PHAP’s Thematic Workshops, to the benefit of participants and themselves. Having sessions led by experienced practitioners can lead to interesting angles when discussing issues concerning, for example, international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles, as evidenced by PHAP’s recent training courses held in Dubai.
On 21-22 May, the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) will take place in Washington, DC. PHAP members who are attending will have several opportunities to interact with other members and PHAP staff, including by visiting our booth, by attending the conference where PHAP’s Executive Director will be speaking, and by meeting up for drinks at an informal PHAP members’ get-together.
The local PHAP member network in Juba, South Sudan, met on 17 March to learn more about and discuss the development of civil-military guidelines in the country. Attended by a range of NGO Country Directors, protection and policy specialists, donors, and UN staff active in South Sudan, the event was an appreciated opportunity to have an informal discussion with other professionals in the country. A new event is scheduled for 4 May, where the coordination efforts of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan will be discussed.
The March event featured as a speaker Nicki Bennett, Humanitarian Policy Advisor with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA) in Juba and founding member of PHAP, who started off by presenting the latest developments regarding civil-military guidelines. Highlighting a number of difficulties associated with adapting the existing global guidelines to the local specificities of the South Sudan context, she set the stage for the ensuing discussions with the participants.
Nils Arne Kastberg, a long-time humanitarian professional with experience at high levels in the United Nations, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Swedish International Cooperation and Development Agency (Sida), has joined PHAP as a senior advisor, bringing valuable perspectives for the elaboration and implementation of a series of new ideas for PHAP’s development in the coming months and years.
On Sunday, 24 February, in Amman, Jordan, PHAP hosted a members’ event on the topic of counterterrorism policies and humanitarian engagement with non-state armed groups (NSAGs). Naz K. Modirzadeh, Senior Fellow at the HLS-Brookings Project on Law and Security, Harvard Law School, and a governing member of PHAP, provided a background presentation on the topic and presented several cases that illustrated the current and potential future consequences of regulations in the area. The more than 35 PHAP members and guests that attended the event also raised their own concerns about and examples of such consequences during the discussion session that followed.