12 June 2013, Geneva, Switzerland – For the first time, UNITAR facilitated a conference, programme of lectures, discussion panels and individualized consultations, in cooperation with partner organizations, gathering together 400 experts in the field of innovative trauma therapy. 
During the course of this conference, UNITAR supported the humanitarian side track that took place from 6 - 8 June at the CICG.

This event aimed at discussing Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) as an innovative form of trauma therapy for use in conflict and post-conflict conditions, targeting staff from governmental and nongovernmental organizations and UN agencies worldwide.

Recent research has opened up these important new, cost-effective opportunities in the field of trauma therapy. Although these positive developments are not yet well known, EMDR, which is now also recognized by WHO, gives cause for optimism that evidence-based trauma treatment can be scaled up and be efficiently used both in deployment and post-conflict areas.

This conference brought together experts in mental health, development and humanitarian issues with the purpose of presenting, discussing and exploring how these innovative approaches can be used in disaster or conflict areas, and highlighting the potential of using EMDR. Promoting the trauma therapy is well aligned with the WHO’s Global Mental Health Action Plan, which calls for a scaling up of care for people experiencing adverse life events, including trauma, and strongly urged to be taken into consideration in the post-2015 development agenda.

As a result of this awareness raising initiative, UNITAR and its partners NGO Forum for Health and the humanitarian assistance programme of EMDR Europe will further build on developing this productive cooperation in this field with the creation of a new course on innovative trauma therapy for humanitarian use.

Through this conference, for the first time UNITAR brought together the UN and Humanitarian Communities in Geneva.

A Video about EMDR will be available shortly on the UNITAR website: www.unitar.org/ptp.