United Nations

A/50/144


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 July 1995

ORIGINAL:
SPANISH


Fiftieth session


REQUEST FOR INCLUSION OF AN ADDITIONAL ITEM IN THE
PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FIFTIETH SESSION

              "WHITE HELMETS" INITIATIVE, PARTICIPATION OF VOLUNTEERS
              IN ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE FIELD OF
              HUMANITARIAN RELIEF, REHABILITATION AND TECHNICAL
COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

            Letter dated 29 June 1995 from the Permanent Representative
            of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General


  On  behalf of the  Government of the Argentine  Republic and in accordance
with rule 13 (e) of the rules of  procedure of the General Assembly,  I have
the honour to request  the inclusion, in the context of consideration of the
item relating to the "Strengthening of  the coordination of humanitarian and
disaster  relief  assistance  of  the  United  Nations,  including   special
economic assistance",  of a sub-item  entitled "'White Helmets'  initiative,
participation  of volunteers  in activities  of  the  United Nations  in the
field of humanitarian  relief, rehabilitation and technical cooperation  for
development" in  the  provisional agenda  of  the  General Assembly  at  its
fiftieth session.

  In accordance  with  rule  20  of the  rules  of  procedure, I  attach  an
explanatory memorandum in connection with my Government's request.


(Signed)  Emilio J. CARDENAS  
Permanent Representative









95-20388 (E)   140795  140795/...
*9520388*
Annex

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM


  In October 1993 the President of the Argentine Republic launched a  global
initiative  for the  creation of  national volunteer  groups, called  "White
Helmets",  whose objective  would be  to make  men  and  women of  good will
available to the United Nations,  with the aim of  strengthening the reserve
capacity of developing countries in support  of United Nations activities in
the field  of emergency humanitarian assistance  and the gradual  transition
from relief to rehabilitation, reconstruction and development.

  This initiative,  which was supported  by a number  of heads  of State and
was favourably considered by several agencies, led  Argentina, together with
65 other  countries, to submit  to the General  Assembly at  its forty-ninth
session  a  draft   resolution  intended  to  establish  the   institutional
framework  for the  United Nations,  through  its  system of  volunteers and
under  its coordination,  to  provide a  vehicle for  the initiative.   This
process  culminated  in  the  adoption  by  consensus  of  General  Assembly
resolution 49/139 B in December 1994.

  In turn,  since the  adoption of resolution  41/139 B  and its  subsequent
reaffirmation in  the Programme  of Action adopted  at the World  Summit for
Social  Development in  Copenhagen, Argentina,  in coordination  with  other
countries, has been working to arrange trials for  the use of White  Helmets
in places and zones affected by emergency situations.   In this regard it is
anticipated that White  Helmets will soon be  deployed in Haiti, in  support
of United Nations activities in the field.

  Resolution 49/139  B, in addition  to setting  out terms of  reference for
the  use  and  creation  of  suitable  arrangements  for  their recruitment,
training and deployment, established a process of  political follow-up which
led  to the  submission  of  a report  to  the appropriate  segment  of  the
Economic and Social Council in 1995.  This report, prepared  on the basis of
replies  received  from  a  number  of  Governments,  United Nations  system
agencies,   non-governmental   organizations   and   international   bodies,
synthesizes and  presents arrangements for the  use of  these volunteers for
consideration by Member States.

  Resolution 49/139 B also requests the  Secretary-General to report to  the
General Assembly  at  its fiftieth  session  on  the implementation  of  the
present  resolution, in the  context of debate  on the  strengthening of the
coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations.

  In accordance with  the foregoing, and bearing in  mind from a formal  and
substantive viewpoint  the content of the  report submitted  to the Economic
and Social Council and  that which the Secretary-General is to submit to the
General  Assembly  at   its  fiftieth  session   on  the  implementation  of
resolution  49/139 B,  we  are of  the  view  that  discussion of  the  item
requires  it  to  be dealt  with  separately  from the  overall  subject  of
humanitarian  assistance,  for which  reason  the  Argentine  Government  is
proposing the inclusion of a  sub-item under the item  "Strengthening of the
coordination  of humanitarian and  disaster relief  assistance of the United
Nations,  including special economic  assistance", entitled "'White Helmets'
initiative, participation of volunteers in activities of the United  Nations
in  the   field  of  humanitarian   relief,  rehabilitation  and   technical
cooperation  for development",  so that  the  States  Members of  the United
Nations may  have an opportunity  to continue the  work begun  at the forty-
ninth session of the General Assembly.


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