November 21, 2012

ICVA establishes N.Y. presence; Montemurro to work from CWS offices

Marzia Montemurro
Marzia Montemurro

NEW YORK CITY -- Church World Service recently welcomed the United States representative for the Geneva-based International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)to its New York City headquarters at the Interchurch Center and its office at the Church Center for the United Nations.

The assignment of Marzia Montemurro as director of humanitarian policy for the global network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocating for effective humanitarian action fulfills ICVA’s long-standing desire to establish a presence in New York.

In welcoming Montemurro, CWS Deputy Director Maurice A. Bloem said, “As an active member of ICVA and as an organization with a long presence in NYC, we consider it a privilege to host ICVA in our offices and to do whatever we can to make ICVA's work, which is important for NGOs here and around the world, as effective as possible.”

Montemurro stressed the importance of a New York presence for Switzerland-based ICVA, the world’s oldest NGO network of humanitarian organizations.  “Although Geneva is a humanitarian hub,” she said, “a lot of the discussions around humanitarian issues are also happening here in New York.

“This new proximity to CWS and other member organizations makes it easier for us to maintain contacts and connections and also makes it possible for ICVA to see at closer range the work of agencies it represents,” Montemurro said.  As a result, ICVA will be able to provide its members with even more support and advocacy during humanitarian reform discussions at the U.N. and at other key humanitarian forums.

CWS’s Bloem added that, “ICVA has always provided a forum for NGOs from industrialized nations and developing countries to make their voices heard at policy-making tables, to learn from each other and to use that knowledge to better respond to humanitarian needs.  That can only increase with ICVA’s presence here in New York” 

Working closely with member organizations, Montemurro will cover a range of humanitarian issues within the U.N.’s Inter-Agency standing committee, the primary mechanism for coordination of humanitarian assistance involving key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners and the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  She also will engage with permanent missions in New York in a dialogue on issues, such as access and humanitarian principles.

Montemurro previously worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva.   She can be reached at marzia@icva.ch.

ICVA has more 75 member agencies around the world working in the fields of humanitarian relief, human rights, and development.

Church World Service works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty, to respond to disasters, to assist refugees and immigrants and to promote peace and justice around the world.