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‘The voice of the voiceless’

Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management European Commissioner Christos Stylianides

Cypriot Commissioner-designate for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides appeared at the European Parliament on Tuesday, in a hearing by the relevant parliamentary committees on his ability to handle the portofolio.
During his three-hour long hearing, Stylianides said it is a privilege to have been proposed for this portfolio, adding that he wants to be “the spokesperson of the most vulnerable, the voice of the voiceless.”
Stylianides made special reference to the ever increasing Ebola epidemic, promising that his first official visit as Commissioner will be to countries affected by Ebola.
“Ebola should be addressed like a mega natural disaster – it is like a typhoon in slow motion. It is also a threat to global security as noted by the UN Security Council. Behind the worrying statistics of the devastating spread of the virus are real human lives, people and communities that will also need psychosocial assistance after recovery. These are immediate and pressing crises and they need immediate response, but also long term planning,” he added.
Stylianides also made a reference to Cyprus, saying that he knows what it means to be in a conflict situation. “To have no shelter, to be without the basic needs, to live in fear and be stripped of your dignity. As a child and then again as a student I witnessed the suffering of the people of Cyprus. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. I witnessed the pain of displacement. I understood the hard way the importance and the necessity of humanitarian aid. Let me be clear: the impact of conflict has no ethnic or religious colour. It hits everyone: old, young, men, women, girls, boys”.
Stylianides’ presentation will now be evaluated by the committees. The results will be sent to the President of Parliament and considered by the Conference of Presidents, followed by a plenary sitting where the parliament will get to vote on approval of the whole European Commission as a body.

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