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DRC is expanding into a new country again, this time by setting up an office in Geneva to strengthen the position as a leading humanitarian organization by maximizing the influence on the international humanitarian agenda.
Establishing a new office, round of introductions, prioritize which policy fora to engage in and within the first three months be ready for a DRC Geneva action play for 2014. William Chemaly will hit the ground running, when he takes on the responsibility of setting up a DRC representation in Geneva beginning September 1th.
“Geneva is the humanitarian and Human Rights world capital. It is the arena where many policy pieces are made, where new trends in our world are being presented and best solutions being discussed. With a representation in Geneva DRC will now be able to join the humanitarian partners we work with in the field, to shape with them the humanitarian agenda,” William Chemaly explains.
Geneva is far from a new field for William Chemaly, who has been based in the humanitarian capital as head of the Joint IDP Profiling Service, JIPS, since its creation in 2009. Prior to this he worked as protection and emergency coordinator in Lebanon, Uganda and Kenya, and has thus both a good knowledge of DRC (as partner in JIPS) and the field operations, he is now to promote.
“As DRC Representative in Geneva it will be part of my work to make sure DRC is available as specialists that contribute to discussions and decisions that touch upon the areas in which we have substantial field and programmatic expertise,” William Chemaly says.
“The biggest challenge will be to prioritize. There are so many things happening in Geneva that DRC could take part in. But trying to be everywhere would be a mistake. We need to move away from general advocacy to a clear voice based on our operational experience and the reality we work in.”
The first big job will be to get the office up and running, very soon thereafter he will make sure that DRC is proactive, taking part in shaping the agenda of several upcoming events including the World Humanitarian Summit 2015.
“We need to make use of the Geneva momentum. Let’s say decisions will be made with regards to Syria humanitarian operation in a month that will decide on the priorities for humanitarian assistance. By being aware of the meeting, consulting with our partners and liaising closely with the four country directors we have for the region as well as the Regional representative, we are able to sharpen the DRC standpoint and make sure it is part of the agenda.”