I have received apologies from Deputies Brady and Clarke and Senator Joe O'Reilly because of competing interests in both the Dáil and Seanad.
On behalf of the committee, I would like to welcome in person here today Ms Jane-Ann McKenna, CEO of Dóchas; Mr. Dominic McSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide; Mr. Liam O'Dwyer, secretary general of the Irish Red Cross; and Ms Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire. Joining virtually from Kraków, Poland is Mr. Ros O'Sullivan, head of emergency operations at Concern Worldwide, and from London, Mr. Matthew Morris, head of communication and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. All of our witnesses are very welcome to discuss the ongoing and worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
All of the witnesses are very welcome. I know they are all particularly busy at this time of crisis. This committee, on a number of occasions in recent times, has the opportunity to discuss the political situation in Ukraine and the region. We, therefore, very much look forward this afternoon to discussing with the witnesses the humanitarian assistance requirements in Ukraine and countries in the region but particularly in respect of the people of Ukraine, both internally and internationally displaced, by what really is an horrendous, illegal and unacceptable invasion. Just a few short weeks ago when we were preparing our work programme for the year little did we think that the first quarter of the year would be dominated by war in Europe.
The format of our meeting is that we will hear opening statements followed by a discussion with questions and answers from members of the committee. I ask members, some of whom are with us in person and others of whom are joining us from their offices, to be concise with their questions to allow members an opportunity of full participation.
I ask witnesses, members and those in the Public Gallery to ensure their mobile phones are switched off or that airplane mode is engaged as often times the signal can cause a difficulty for sound and for the recording of proceedings by the Debates Office.
I remind witnesses of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make that person or entity identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of a person or entity. Therefore, if statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, witnesses will be directed to discontinue their remarks and it is imperative than any such direction be complied with, although I must say that any such direction is not expected.
For witnesses attending remotely outside the Leinster House complex, there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege. As such, they might not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present in the room does.
I remind members of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise, or make charges against any person outside the House or an official, either by name or in a way that makes that person identifiable. I remind members, some of whom I can see on the screen, that they may only participate remotely in the meeting if they are physically located within the Leinster House complex.
I welcome the ambassador of Poland, Ms Anna Sochaska, to the Public Gallery this afternoon. The ambassador is very welcome as always.
I invite Ms McKenna to introduce her colleagues and make her opening statement. Again, I want to express my deep appreciation, and that of our committee members, to them for making time available to share with us their views and perceptions this afternoon.