18 Ean 2011, 17.23

The appointment of Irishman John Ging to the post of Director of Operations to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will bring to this highly significant position, the extraordinary sense of humanity and determination that John has consistently shown during his period in Gaza, the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee has said today.

For the past five years, John has been Director of Operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza where he has co-ordinated the relief and reconstruction efforts, and acted as a tireless advocate on behalf of the Palestinian people there who are living in deplorable conditions.

John has been a regular witness at the Foreign Affairs Committee during its analysis of the conflict in the Middle East and met with Committee members when they visited Gaza in July 2009.

Committee Chairman, Dr Michael Woods TD said;
On behalf of the Committee, I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to John on his appointment. The OCHA’s gain will be a loss for the beleaguered people of Gaza. Through our meetings with John and during our visit to Gaza we saw at first hand the way he tirelessly championed the cause of the Palestinian people there, and worked relentlessly to improve their living conditions.

We have no doubt that he will bring the same vigour and extraordinary courage to his new role, where he will have responsibility for overseeing the mobilisation and humanitarian response to disasters and emergencies all over the world.

Ireland can rightly be proud of the contribution John has made to some of the world’s most dispossessed and disadvantaged people. We wish him well in his new position, and look forward to welcoming him to the Foreign Affairs Committee again in the near future.”

Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Unit
087 6949926
01 618 4484

Committee Membership
Michael Woods TD, FF (Chairman)
Rory O’Hanlon TD, FF (Vice-Chairman)
Paul Connaughton TD, FG
Darragh O’Brien TD, FF
Michael D Higgins TD, Labour
Frank Fahey TD, FF
MJ Nolan, TD, FF
Sean Barrett TD, FG
Pat Breen TD, FG
Noel O’Flynn TD, FF
Sean Ardagh, TD, FF
Alan Shatter TD, FG
Maureen O'Sullivan TD, Independent
Senator David Norris, Independent
Senator Ann Ormonde, FF
Senator Dominic Hannigan, Labour
Senator Maurice Cummins, FG
Senator Ivor Callely, Independent