News Release

Panel and diplomatic dinner in Brussels underline power of cooperative humanitarian action

Ambassadors from over 20 countries and leaders of humanitarian organisations attend events hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Partnering in humanitarian action leverages each other’s strengths and improves outcomes, speakers emphasised at two events held by the European Union and International Affairs Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brussels on Wednesday, 26 June 2024.

“When we seek the interest of others, in the long run, it will improve lives for societies at large. We are all givers and we are all receivers,” said Sharon Eubank, executive director of the Church’s Humanitarian Services, at a dinner with ambassadors and diplomats from over 20 different countries. During her address, she shared details about increased efforts by the Church to improve the health and well-being of women and children in twelve high-need countries.

“Let us reflect on the shared values that unite us across nations and cultures. Let us celebrate the progress made and commit to the journey ahead, knowing that it is through unity and shared purpose that we can truly make a difference,” Francesco Di Lillo, Director of the Church’s European Union and International Affairs Office, called out to the audience.

Earlier that day, four leaders of the humanitarian community engaged in a roundtable discussion on the “Power of Partnerships to Accelerate the Well-being of Women and Children.” The audience was filled with representatives from other humanitarian-focused, non-governmental organisations as well as embassy representatives with responsibility for humanitarian efforts.

“Direct assistance is usually granted to people at the worst times of their lives,” Georgia Tacey from Save the Children Europe remarked. “Many demonstrate eye-watering levels of generosity to help others when the need is the greatest,” she added.

Saul Guerrero Oteyza of UNICEF noted the significance of preventing problems before they occur and often lead to disaster. The four leaders agreed that as government institutions, non-governmental and faith-based organisations work together and learn from each other, much suffering can be prevented from the beginning. Saul Guerrero Oteyza also warned not to let the enormity of tasks ahead paralyse hopes and ambitions. “We have come a long way, but we are not there yet,” he concluded.

“It’s important to focus on the positives, on what does work to relieve the misery of people,” Nicolas Demey of the World Food Programme concurred. He expressed appreciation for the Church’s commitment to provide assistance during what he called “forgotten emergencies” – continued situations of need after media attention diminishes.

Sharon Eubank joined the three panelists and thanked them for their dedication to relieve suffering and to help others see a brighter future. “The power of partnership lies in understanding your strengths and acknowledging the strengths of others,” she explained.

The European Union and International Affairs Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inaugurated in 2013, enables discussion on meaningful current affairs and supports the government relations efforts of the Church at the European Union.

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