Sphere Handbook Launch at City of Knowledge
The event, which started at 10:00 a.m. Panamanian time and which was broadcasted live in the world wide web, counted with the welcoming words of the Executive Director of the City of Knowledge Foundation, Jorge Arosemena, who reminded the attendants of the mission to build a more positive world.
John Mitchell, in name of John Damerell, Sphere Project Director, spoke via web from the head office in Geneva, to bring a message of support to the Sphere community around the globe. He emphasized the fact that the Handbook will be available in 20 languages and that it reflects better practices in the humanitarian front regarding a dignified life, protection and humanitarian assistance.
Juan Sáenz, Director of Humanitarian Productions, gave a brief introduction in to what Sphere truly is. His presentation was based on the accomplishments that the humanitarian sector has made since the 90’s identity crisis and how they have a new code of conduct that allows them to be more effective. He explained that Sphere is a global initiative where institutions and individuals get together to do the right thing, right; and that it is a process, a product and a compromise declaration.
Una McCauley, Panama’s Representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), explained how the Sphere Handbook provides a series of norms that improve the quality of humanitarian response offered to people affected by disasters or armed conflicts, from the point of view of children.
Xavier Castellanos, Director of the Americas Zone Office of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, spoke about the culture of community mobilization for the benefit of mankind. Sphere, he explained, constitutes a Handbook of new needs and challenges that must be taken into consideration in order to protect the world’s population.
After a video about the Sphere Handbook, Dax Martinez, of Plan International, spoke about Sphere capacitation by workshops, courses and presentations that help bring the project to the people.
To finalize, Carlos Mansilla, Regional Director of Human Affairs at OXFAM, offered a presentation about the new 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook. His speech centered in the revision that the Handbook underwent, thanks to a new reality that faces constant changes and therefore expects a better quality and control over humanitarian response.
The event continued in the afternoon with a series of workshops by experts in the subject, which gathered to exchange ideas about topics of high importance regarding humanitarian aid.