United Nations

A/50/521


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

13 November 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 96 (f)


ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:  INTERNATIONAL
DECADE FOR NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

  I.  INTRODUCTION...........................................1 - 53

 II.  INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF ACTION FOR THE DECADE.......6 - 154

III.  CORE FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE........16 - 196

  A.  Support to and coordination of the International
    Framework of Action for the Decade................. 166

  B.  Implementation of the goals of the Decade.......... 177

  C.  Follow-up to the World Conference on Natural
    Disaster Reduction................................. 188

  D.  Promotion and advocacy............................. 198

 IV.  CORE STAFF OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE............20 - 268

  V.  CORE COST OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE.............27 - 319

 VI.  FUNDING OPTIONS FOR THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE......32 - 4511

  A.  Private sector funding.............................36 - 3711

  B.  Broadening the donor base for the Decade...........38 - 3912


95-30339 (E)   171195/...
*9530339*
  CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

  C.  Long-term funding security.........................4012

  D.  Trust Fund for the Decade as a channelling
    mechanism..........................................4112

  E.  Secondment of expertise............................4213

  F.  Synergy within the Department of Humanitarian
    Affairs  ............................................43 - 4413

  G.  Regular budget.....................................4513

VII.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................46 - 4814

Annexes

  I.  Staffing table for the secretariat of the Decade at
  September 1995....................................................15

 II.  Trust Fund for the Decade:  statement of income and expenditures
  for the period 1990-1995...........................................16

III.  Annual costs of the secretariat of the Decade and its core project
  activities  .........................................................17
I.  INTRODUCTION


1.  At  its substantive session  of 1994,  the Economic  and Social  Council
carried out the mid-term review of  the implementation of the  International
Framework  of Action  for  the  International Decade  for  Natural  Disaster
Reduction 1990-2000  (resolution  44/236, annex).   This  review was  based,
inter alia,  on the  findings of  the World  Conference on Natural  Disaster
Reduction  held at Yokohama, Japan, from  23 to 27  May 1994, as laid out in
the  Yokohama Message  1/  and the  Yokohama  Strategy  for  a Safer  World:
Guidelines for Natural  Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation  2/
and its Plan of Action.  Both the mid-term  review and the Yokohama Strategy
and Plan of  Action were  subsequently endorsed by  the General Assembly  in
its resolution 49/22 A of 2 December 1994.

2.  Discussions at  the meeting of the  Preparatory Committee for  the World
Conference on  Natural Disaster Reduction and  at the  Conference itself had
emphasized that  adequate resource  availability was  a key  factor for  the
successful implementation  of the  International Framework of  Action.   The
Yokohama  Strategy and Plan  of Action strongly encouraged financial support
for programme  activities.   It called,  equally, for  considering ways  and
means to  ensure the functional security  and continuity  of the secretariat
of the Decade. The Trust  Fund for the Decade was reconfirmed as a  priority
mechanism for making resources available for these purposes.

3.    The report  on the  Decade submitted  to the  General Assembly  at its
fiftieth  session   through  the  Economic   and  Social  Council   provides
information  on the full  financial situation  of the  Decade, including the
functioning  and the  status of  the Trust Fund  (A/50/201-E/1995/74, paras.
82-87).  The report  gives a general overview  of voluntary contributions to
the Trust Fund from a  number of donors. It states, however, that the  Trust
Fund has remained an underfunded facility,  barely able to support essential
functions of  the International Framework of  Action and  equally limited in
its capacity to support disaster reduction projects.

4.   The report further points  out that the level  of contributions to  the
Trust Fund is still insufficient for  both the desired programme  activities
as  well as the core tasks of the International  Framework of Action for the
Decade.    Despite   the  renewed  emphasis  placed  upon  natural  disaster
reduction as  generated by the  World Conference and contrary  to the strong

support expressed for the implementation of  the Yokohama Strategy and  Plan
of  Action, substantive  additional resources  have  not  come forward.   In
particular, the secretariat of the Decade  continues to see itself  hampered
in  its efforts  to serve  adequately  the  International Framework  for the
Decade.   Its capacity to coordinate the day-to-day activities of the Decade
and  to support  the  transformation of  the Yokohama  Strategy and  Plan of
Action into concrete action to reduce  vulnerability to natural disasters at
the country level is being compromised owing to a lack of resources.

5.   Consequently,  the Economic  and  Social  Council, at  its  substantive
session of  1995,  noting  the report  on the  Decade  (A/50/201-E/1995/74),
expressed its  concern about the continuing  financial limitations.   In its
resolution 1995/47  B  the Council  called  for  the provision  of  adequate
financial resources and technical support for  the activities of the Decade.
It also requested  an examination of options  from all existing sources  for
an adequate funding of  the core functions of the secretariat of the Decade,
and requested that these  core functions be specified in the context of  the
report on the Decade to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session.


II.  INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF ACTION FOR THE DECADE

6.   The secretariat of  the Decade was  established in early  1990 for  the
period of  the Decade  (1990-2000), following  the adoption  by the  General
Assembly  at its  forty-fourth  session  of the  International Framework  of
Action for the Decade (resolution 44/236,  annex).  The Assembly  requested,
inter  alia,  that  the  secretariat  be  responsible  for  the   day-to-day
coordination of  Decade activities and  provide substantive and  secretarial
support to the Special High-level Council  and the Scientific and  Technical
Committee, as well as for other related activities.

7.   In  order to  be able  adequately to  serve the  complex  International
Framework for  the Decade both inside and outside the United Nations system,
emphasis had  been placed  on the  establishment of  a small but  distinctly
identifiable secretariat.  With a view  to the challenging substantive tasks
deriving  from  General Assembly  resolution  44/236,  the  secretariat  was
expected to  draw on the existing  expertise of  established entities within
the  United Nations system. Consequently,  the secretariat was set up at the
United Nations Office  at Geneva, in close  association with the then Office
of the United Nations  Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO).  The head of the
secretariat   reported   directly   to   the   then   Director-General   for
International Economic Cooperation.

8.   With the  appointment of  the Under-Secretary-General  for Humanitarian
Affairs  as  Emergency  Relief Coordinator  and  the  establishment  of  the
Department for Humanitarian Affairs of the  Secretariat in 1992 as  a result
of General Assembly resolution 46/182 of  19 December 1991, the  secretariat
for the Decade has become an integral  part of that Department.  Among other
changes  brought  about  by the  Department's  reorganization  in  1994, the
Mitigation Branch and the secretariat of  the Decade were consolidated under
the  umbrella  of  a  Disaster  Reduction  Division,  dealing  with  natural
disaster reduction.  This was done to further improve internal functioning.

9.   In the  annex to  resolution 46/182  the General  Assembly charged  the
Emergency  Relief  Coordinator   with  a  wide  range  of   disaster-related
responsibilities,  from  disaster reduction  through  preparedness,  relief,
rehabilitation and reconstruction to sustainable development.  The  Disaster
Reduction  Division,   especially  the   secretariat  of   the  Decade,   is
responsible for natural  disaster reduction activities, both in the  context
of  disaster  management and  of humanitarian  action, as  in the  fields of
environmental  protection,  natural  resource   management  and  sustainable
development.

10.  Coordination  within the United  Nations system was  ensured since  the
Decade's  preparatory phase  through  the Steering  Committee of  the United
Nations  for the  International Decade  for  Natural Disaster  Reduction and

other related  organizational entities  chaired by  the Director-General  in
close cooperation with  the then United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator.
The Steering  Committee continued  its work  during the  first  half of  the
Decade.  In line  with the recommendations of the Decade's mid-term  review,
the  Steering  Committee  has  been  extended  under  the  authority  of the
Emergency Relief Coordinator in his capacity as Under-Secretary-General  for
Humanitarian Affairs.

11.   The  International Framework  of  Action,  which forms  the conceptual
basis for the core functions of the secretariat of the Decade is defined  in
detail in  the annex  to the Decade's  founding resolution.   The Decade  as
proclaimed by the General Assembly in  its resolution 44/236, represented an
effort  by   the  international   community  to   establish  a   cooperative
relationship between  the scientific community and  the United  Nations in a
field of concern to the Member States.

12.    In  order  to reflect  a  comprehensive and  concerted  approach, the
Framework was laid out with four major components.   These were a  national-
level mechanism  in the  form of  national Decade  committees, a  structured
approach  to coordinated input and  support by the United  Nations system, a
Special  High-Level  Council for  overall  advice,  the promotion  of public
awareness and  the  mobilization of  support, as  well as  a Scientific  and
Technical  Committee.    The  latter  was  expected  to  guide  the Decade's
activities through  programme formulation,  the identification  of gaps  and
priorities in  the application  of scientific  and technical  knowledge, and
the evaluation of the Decade's implementation.

13.   With  the  overall  goal of  reducing  the  impact of  disasters,  the
objective  of  the  activities  envisaged  in  the  Decade  was  to mobilize
scientific and academic communities through  national committees in order to
raise public and  governmental consciousness to build indigenous  capacities
in regard to preparedness and prevention of natural disasters.

14.   With the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action, the World Conference on
Natural  Disaster Reduction  reaffirmed  the multifaceted  function  of  the
Decade secretariat  with regard to representing  and promoting  the issue of
natural  disaster reduction  in  disaster management,  national  development
planning  and   international  technical   cooperation.     Maintaining  and
facilitating   a   cooperative  and   multisectoral  dialogue   between  the
international scientific  and technical community,  the national levels  and
the United Nations system remains a major challenge.

15.  The  secretariat of the  Decade has  engaged in  drawing up a  concrete
plan for  activities during the final  four years of  the Decade, until  the
end of 1999. This  strategic work plan is based  on the outcome of the World
Conference  and embedded in  the current  strategic planning  for the future
work of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs.


 III.  CORE FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE

A.  Support to and coordination of the International
    Framework of Action for the Decade             

16.   Based  on  the original  concept of  the Decade  as  developed by  the
International Ad  Hoc Group  of Experts on  the Decade as  reflected in  the
annex  to the  Decade's founding  resolution  44/236  and as  reaffirmed and
complemented  by the recommendations  of the  Yokohama Strategy  and Plan of
Action, the following core activities are  discharged by the secretariat  of
the Decade:

  (a)   Assistance in strengthening the  Special High-Level  Council in line
with General Assembly  resolution 49/22 A.   This includes the  provision of
secretarial support  and  substantive input  to  the  Council on  a  regular
basis, and the  organization of one annual  meeting.  The substantive  input
will  concentrate  on enabling  the  Council  to provide  disaster reduction

activities  worldwide  and   regionally  with  authoritative  and  effective
programme  guidance,  in  order  to  ensure  stronger cohesion  of  disaster
reduction  activities during the  second half  of the  Decade.   The Council
will play a leading  role in mapping out the disaster reduction strategy for
the period beyond the year 2000;

  (b)  Continuing secretarial and substantive  support for the activities of
the  Scientific and Technical  Committee through  a permanent  dialogue with
Committee members,  both collectively and individually.   This includes  the
organization  of  up  to  two  annual  meetings,  both  in  substantive  and
logistical terms.  For  the remaining years of the  Decade, until the end of
1999, the already comprehensive  approach of the  Committee will have to  be
broadened further,  in order to help  integrate disaster  reduction into all
aspects  of national  planning  for  the benefit  of  achieving  sustainable
development.    The  members  of  the   Committee  will  contribute  to  the
implementation  of  the  Yokohama   Strategy  and  Plan  of  Action  through
conceptual theme-setting as  part of the  process towards  the end-of-Decade
event;

  (c)   Providing secretarial  support and  substantive input  to the United
Nations Steering Committee for the Decade,  in particular through a  regular
dialogue  with all  concerned  agencies  and  organizations  of  the  United
Nations system.  This will also include the organization of meetings of  the
Steering Committee,  primarily  at the  level  of  its Working  Group,  both
substantively and logistically;

  (d)   Managing the  Trust  Fund for  the  Decade,  which remains  the  key
instrument  for providing financial  resources for the implementation of the
International Framework  of Action, for the  Decade.   The Yokohama Strategy
and  Plan of Action have  re-emphasized the role  of the  Trust Fund for the
Decade and have called  for its full  utilization both for the provision  of
resources for  disaster reduction activities  as well as  in support of  the
work of the secretariat of the Decade.


 B.   Implementation of the goals of the Decade

17.    The  secretariat  of  the  Decade,  as  part  of  the  Department  of
Humanitarian Affairs,  is instrumental in  facilitating concerted action  in
the implementation of  the goals of the Decade as set forth in  the annex to
resolution 44/236.  The national committees have  been playing a vital  role
in focusing the priority of the Decade on  concrete action aimed at disaster
reduction at the national  and community levels.   The core functions of the
secretariat in this regard, therefore, are:

  (a)   To improve  the capacities  of countries to mitigate  the effects of
natural disasters expeditiously and effectively through:

(i)Facilitating the establishment of national committees and the  nomination
of  national  focal  points.   This  activity  is based  on  a comprehensive
evaluation  of  the  national  committee  concept  and  the  development  of
alternative national level models;

  (ii)Facilitating a  permanent dialogue among  the national committees  and
focal  points, as  well  as  between them  and the  other components  of the
International  Framework for  the Decade,  including through  maintaining  a
clearing-house function for disaster reduction related-information;

  (iii)Maintaining the  dialogue with  Governments within  the framework  of
relevant United Nations forums, and through informal mechanisms  established
since the  World Conference  on  Natural Disaster  Reduction. This  dialogue
helps  bring  together  policy  makers,  national  committees  and  national
disaster management administrations;

  (b)    To  devise  appropriate  guidelines  and  strategies  for  applying
existing  scientific  and technical  knowledge  and  foster  scientific  and

engineering endeavours aimed at closing critical gaps in knowledge through:

  (i)Monitoring the implementation of  demonstration projects and evaluating
their success on the basis of  commonly acknowledged success indicators,  to
be developed by the secretariat together  with the Scientific and  Technical
Committee and  other relevant  partners of  the International Framework  for
the Decade;

  (ii)Collating  and  assessing   information  on  existing  knowledge   and
technology  and identifying  gaps and priorities for  future research within
the process towards the end-of-Decade event;

  (c)   To disseminate  existing and  new technical  information relating to
measures  of assessment,  prediction  and mitigation  of  natural  disasters
through:

(i)Facilitating  the development  of  networks or  mechanisms  for  dialogue
among  and  between  universities,  other  academic  or  scientific  bodies,
relevant  technical institutions and concerned  United Nations organizations
and agencies;

   (ii)Monitoring   and  providing   support   and  input   for  information
management networks that  relate to disaster management and, in  particular,
natural  disaster  reduction,  environmental  protection,  natural  resource
management, and sustainable development.


C.  Follow-up to the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction

18.  The third main function of the  secretariat relates to the follow-up to
the  World Conference  on  National  Disaster  Reduction  and  includes  the
following specific tasks:

  (a)  Serving as  focal point for the International Framework of Action for
the Decade and  the Department of  Humanitarian Affairs  for all aspects  of
disaster  reduction  in  the  context  of  major  United  Nations  programme
activities and conferences:

(i)With regard to the  implementation of Agenda 21  3/ and the  Programme of
Action for the Sustainable  Development of Small  Island Developing  States,
4/  the secretariat  serves as  focal  point  for natural  and environmental
disasters in  the context of the reporting by the  Commission on Sustainable
Development;

  (ii)The secretariat supports and coordinates input from the  International
Framework of  Action  for the  Decade,  and  its participation,  into  major
thematic conferences  of the United  Nations system and  beyond, as  well as
their respective follow-up;

  (b)   Facilitating,  monitoring and  adapting  the implementation  of  the
action plan  for the International  Framework of  Action for the  Decade, on
the  basis of  the  Yokohama  Strategy and  Plan of  Action.   This activity
includes, in  particular, the  improved mobilization  of adequate  resources
for the  implementation of  the  Decade as  well  as  the development  of  a
coordinated  sectoral and  cross-sectoral process at all  levels towards the
Decade's closing event.


D.   Promotion and advocacy

19.   Finally, and as  part of  its core  functions, the secretariat  of the
Decade supports  the International Framework of  Action for  the Decade, and
the Emergency Relief Coordinator in his capacity as  Under-Secretary-General
for Humanitarian Affairs, in all aspects of promotion of  the Decade's goals
and objectives and advocacy of natural disaster reduction.

IV.  CORE STAFF OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE

20.  In launching the International  Decade for Natural Disaster  Reduction,
the General Assembly stipulated  in the annex to its resolution 44/236  that
the secretariat of  the Decade should be small,  with its members drawn,  as
appropriate, from the international community of disaster reduction  experts
and  other relevant  experts through,  inter alia,  secondment  arrangements
with   competent  United   Nations  organizations,   Governments,  and  non-
governmental organizations.

21.   This  recommendation was  based on  the proposal  put forward  by  the
International Ad  Hoc  Group of  Experts  on  the International  Decade  for
Natural Disaster  Reduction in  its report  to the  General Assembly  at its
forty-fourth session  (A/44/322/Add.1-E/1989/114/Add.1, annex).   The  Group
of Experts had foreseen the secretariat to be  headed by a senior  technical
expert as Director. The  staff of the  secretariat was supposed to be  small
at the outset  and, in line  with the  defined tasks,  was expected to  grow
gradually to approximately 10 Professionals.

22.   In concurring with the proposals for the establishment  of the post of
the Director  of the secretariat  of the Decade,  the Advisory Committee  on
Administrative  and Budgetary  Questions  based its  decision  on  the broad
range  of responsibilities  entrusted to  the  head  of the  secretariat, as
described in the earlier  sections of the present report.  It also based its
decision on  the accepted estimate  for the core  staff requirements  of the
secretariat  which would have to be met if the Decade was to be successfully
implemented.

23.   The  core  staff  requirements  that were  presented  to the  Advisory
Committee on Administrative  and Budgetary Questions comprised one  Director
(D-2), one expert  (L-5), one expert  (L-4), two experts  (L-3), one  Junior
Professional  Officer (L-2),  one  consultant,  one seconded  expert  and  3
General Service and Other level staff.

24.  These core requirements took into account the preparatory work for  the
1994 World Conference for Natural Disaster  Reduction.  They could, however,
not  yet  reflect  the  additional  responsibilities  of  the  International
Framework  for  the Decade  and in  particular of  the secretariat,  for the
implementation  of the  Yokohama Strategy  and Plan  of Action.   They could
also not yet take into account  the decision made by the General Assembly at
its forty-ninth  session with  regard to  a structured  process towards  the
end-of-Decade  event,  in  which  the  secretariat  would  be  charged  with
additional responsibilities.

25.  Consequently, and in  the light of the results  of the World Conference
on   Natural  Disaster  Reduction,   the  current  staff  resources  of  the
secretariat comprise  one  Director  (D-2), one  Senior Adviser  (D-1),  six
professional experts (L-5 to  L-2), seven General Service staff, as well  as
those covered by special service agreements and  consultants as appropriate.
A detailed breakdown of staff is provided in annex I to the present report.

26.   Only  the Director of the  secretariat and two of  the General Service
staff incumber temporary posts.  All other staff members  are being employed
either  in  the  form of  project  personnel,  secondments,  consultants  or
temporary assistance.

V.  CORE COST OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE

27.  In accordance with the financial arrangements outlined in the annex  to
General Assembly  resolution 44/236,  all activities  and secretariat  costs
are funded from extrabudgetary  resources.  To this  end, the Trust Fund for
the  Decade   has  been  established  as   a  means   to  receive  voluntary
contributions  from   Governments,  international  organizations  and  other
sources, including the private sector.

28.   Financial support from  the United Nations  regular budget  has so far

covered only  the conference-servicing costs for  one annual  meeting of the
Special  High-Level  Council   and  an  estimated   three  meetings  of  the
Scientific and Technical Committee  during each year of  the biennium.   The
regular budget  does not,  however, cover travel  and per  diem expenses  in
connection with  Council and  Committee meetings,  for which  extrabudgetary
funding was foreseen.   The secretariat was  to be financed exclusively from
extrabudgetary resources.

29.   Since the launching of the Decade, extrabudgetary  resources have been
made available  to the Trust Fund  for the Decade in  the form of  voluntary
contributions in  an amount of approximately  US$ 8  million.  Contributions
have  been  received  from  the  Governments  of  Denmark,  Finland, France,
Germany,  Italy, Japan,  the Netherlands,  Norway, the  Russian  Federation,
Sweden,  Switzerland, the  United  Kingdom  of Great  Britain  and  Northern
Ireland,  and the  United States  of  America.   In addition,  the  European
Commission and the Organization  of American States  have provided financial
support  through the  Trust  Fund.   In addition,  donations have  also been
received from the Asian Development Bank, the Australian National  Committee
for  the Decade  and the  German National  Committee.  It must,  however, be
noted that  access to sources other  than traditional  donors, in particular
the private sector, has been minimal.

30.  From the income  received in the Trust Fund, an overall expenditure  of
US$ 7.1  million has  been incurred  as at the  date of the  present report.
About 87  per cent  of this  expenditure relates  to  staff and  operational
costs  of the secretariat.  Only 9  per cent of the spending  from the Trust
Fund  refers directly to  project-related activities.  The  balance of 4 per
cent has been  utilized to cover travel  expenses for meetings, primarily of
Scientific and Technical  Committee members and of delegates from developing
countries to the World Conference for Natural  Disaster Reduction.  Most  of
the cost  of the World Conference on Natural Disaster  Reduction was covered
from funds outside the  Trust Fund, i.e., the United Nations regular  budget
and the Government of Japan.

31.  A detailed table of  income per annum and of the related expenditure is
provided  in  annex  II to  the  present  report.    Most  of the  voluntary
contributions  to  the  Trust  Fund have  been  specifically  earmarked  for
clearly defined activities, including staff components.   This has left, and
continues  to   leave,  little  room   for  covering  unforeseen   financial
requirements.  The secretariat is  limited, from a financial  point of view,
in its efforts to undertake necessary  urgent and additional activities that
have resource  implications beyond the available expert or consultant staff.
The annual running costs of the  secretariat, including the requirements for
core  staff, are  presented and  broken down  in annex  III to  the  present
report.


 VI.  FUNDING OPTIONS FOR THE SECRETARIAT OF THE DECADE

32.  With  its funding limited  to extrabudgetary resources, the  Decade has
witnessed  a  factual  narrowing  of   its  donor  base  as  well  as  other
difficulties in the implementation  of the International Framework of Action
during  the first  half  of the  Decade.   The  overall level  of  financial
support  has  been   insufficient,  the  flow  of  contributions  has   been
irregular, contributions  have in  most cases  been specifically  earmarked,
and follow-up activities  to successfully implemented projects had been only
barely considered when financial commitments  were made.   Consequently, the
secretariat has, in many  cases, invested more time  in the development  and
presentation  of  specific project  proposals,  the  soliciting  of  related
earmarked contributions  and the  reporting on their implementation  than in
the tasks of day-to-day  management of the  Decade and the servicing of  the
International Framework.

33.   Improved  financial security  for  the  secretariat would  enable more
creativity,  coherence and  sustainability in  fulfilling the  secretariat's
core functions.  This would, at the same  time, generate more attractive and

marketable products  that could tell the  success story  of natural disaster
reduction.  Such products would, in  turn, help to solicit broader financial
support for the Decade's activities and the secretariat.

34.  The annex to General  Assembly resolution 44/236, stipulating financing
of the  Decade from  extrabudgetary resources,  defines three basic  funding
sources  for Decade  activities,  including  the costs  of the  secretariat.
These   are   voluntary  contributions   from   Governments,   international
organizations  or other sources.   The last of these  relate, in particular,
to contributions from the private sector.

35.  The first  half of the Decade has  been financed through  a combination
of  extrabudgetary  resources,  project  funds  and  some  staff  secondment
arrangements. Considering the  intended resources as outlined in  resolution
44/236 and the experience  thus far, detailed below are seven major  funding
options for the future.   These options are not mutually exclusive.  Rather,
it is expected that  a combination of them will best provide the  long-term,
viable and sustainable financial basis which  is of paramount importance  to
the future  effectiveness and  continuation of  activities in  the field  of
natural disaster reduction.


A.  Private sector funding

36.   In section  IV of  the present  report, it  was pointed  out that  the
majority of  the secretariat's  overall income  has  derived from  voluntary
contributions, made  by a limited number  of donor  Governments.  Obviously,
the  International  Framework  of  Action  for the  Decade  has  so far  not
succeeded in soliciting  measurable financial support for Decade  activities
beyond   the  traditional   donor   community,  i.e.,   Governments   and/or
government-related agencies with responsibilities in the fields of  disaster
management  and  technical cooperation.  Consequently, the  secretariat has,
until  now,  not  received  any  substantive  financial  input  from  either
international organizations or the private sector.

 37.  For the remaining  years of the Decade, however, and specially in  the
context of the process  towards the end-of-Decade event, this gap will  have
to be filled.  Any strategy for disaster reduction  beyond the year 2000 can
only be credible to the extent that it  also provides clear expectations for
adequate resource  availability for both  disaster reduction activities  and
the responsible  actors.   Private sector support,  especially in  financial
terms, will be  critical for success and will only come forward on the basis
of  such a  credible approach.  In  this  respect, the  strengthened Special
High-Level  Council,  with the  support  of  the  secretariat, will  develop
broad-based   fund-raising   strategies,   with   particular   emphasis   on
cooperation with  the private sector.   The continued  political support for
this approach from the Member States remains crucial for success.


B.  Broadening the donor base for the Decade

38.   In addition  to improved access  to private  sector funding, financial
security could be increased by broadening  the governmental donor base, with
regard to both  the overall number  of donors and  the access  to a  broader
spectrum  of budget lines  at the  national level.  The  World Conference on
Natural Disaster Reduction  reconfirmed the strong linkages between  natural
disaster reduction,  environmental protection,  natural resource  management
and  sustainable  development.   The  participating  delegations  manifested
their commitment  and interest in seeing  natural disaster reduction  firmly
integrated  into national  development planning, particularly  in developing
countries.

39.   Consideration  might, therefore,  be  given  to involving  more States
Members of the United  Nations in the provision of financial support for the
secretariat. At the same  time, contributions could be provided to a  larger
extent  from  the  available  budget  lines  for  international  development

cooperation on  the basis of priorities  that have  been jointly established
between  the  funding  and  the  implementing  entities,  in  terms  of both
bilateral and multilateral funding.


C.  Long-term funding security

40.    In order to attain a longer-term funding security for the secretariat
during the second half of the Decade, Member  States might want to  consider
pledges for voluntary contributions covering the  total period from 1996  to
1999 on the basis of a consolidated action  plan and a related appeal.  This
would particularly facilitate  the secretariat's  role and  responsibilities
within  the coordinated  and  well-structured process  towards  the  end-of-
Decade event.


D.  Trust Fund for the Decade as a channelling mechanism

41.   A  further option  for the  better funding  of core  activities of the
secretariat is  the improved utilization of the Trust Fund  as a channelling
mechanism for voluntary  contributions to  project activities,  in both  the
bilateral and the multilateral context.   This would enable the secretariat,
in  its capacity  as manager  of the  Trust  Fund, to  draw upon  a  minimal
administrative overhead  charge on such  contributions, currently fixed at a
level  of 3 per  cent of the  overall amount.   This  option is commensurate
with  the proposals as laid down in  paragraphs 87 (a) to (c)  of the report
of the Secretary-General (A/50/201-E/1995/74).

E.  Secondment of expertise

42.   Another option  for strengthening  the secretariat's  staffing is  the
secondment  of specialist  expertise from  Governments, the  United  Nations
system,  international  organizations, non-governmental  organizations,  and
the  private sector.   This possibility  has been insufficiently  used.  The
reasons  for this  are manifold,  but  obviously  the general  state of  the
secretariat's  functional security  has implications  for the attractiveness
of secondment.


F.  Synergy within the Department of Humanitarian Affairs

43.  In the process of restructuring the Department  of Humanitarian Affairs
and for the purpose  of taking full advantage  of the complementarity of the
secretariat  and the  Department's  Disaster Mitigation  Branch,  these  two
components  have been brought  together under  the umbrella  of the Disaster
Reduction  Division.     Within   the  Disaster   Reduction  Division,   the
secretariat and  the Disaster Mitigation  Branch remain mutually  supportive
and have brought their  respective work plans  in line  on the basis of  the
Yokohama Strategy  and Plan  of Action.   As  Director of the  Division, the
Director  of  the  secretariat  ensures  full  cooperation  with  all  other
concerned  entities  of  the  Department  in  matters  relating  to  natural
disaster  reduction  and  is  able  to   draw  on  their  expertise,   where
appropriate.

44.  The  expertise of the Disaster Mitigation Branch in support of the core
functions  of  the  secretariat  relates  to  the  assessment  of  risk, the
formulation of disaster reduction strategies  and the initiation  of project
activities  in the context  of technical  cooperation at  the country level.
The  World Conference  on Natural  Disaster Reduction  has reconfirmed  this
important aspect of goals and objectives of the  Decade.  The demands placed
on  the Branch  in terms  of resources  have, however, already  increased in
relation to  the  Branch's own  traditional  responsibilities,  as a  direct
consequence  of   the  World  Conference.   Given  the  existing   financial
limitations of  the  Branch, which  itself  has  to rely  on  extrabudgetary
resources for  more than 50 per  cent of its  funding, the concrete  support
potential  for  core  functions  of   the  secretariat  must  be  considered

marginal.


G.  Regular budget

45.   While the Economic  and Social Council,  in its  resolution 1995/47 B,
had requested the Secretary-General to include  in his report an examination
of options  from all existing sources  for an adequate  funding of the  core
functions of the  secretariat of the Decade, the Secretary-General  believes
that  in the present  financial situation  of the  Organization, the regular
budget is  not a funding option  for the secretariat, whose original mandate
is clearly predicated on being funded exclusively from voluntary resources.

  VII.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

46.  The  financial situation of  the secretariat of the Decade,  as part of
the  Department  of  Humanitarian  Affairs,  remains  fragile,  despite  the
explicit commitment of the international community to the implementation  of
the  goals of the  Decade as  pronounced at the World  Conference on Natural
Disaster Reduction  and its follow-up so far.  The  gap between expectations
placed  upon  the International  Framework  of  Action  for  the Decade,  in
particular  the secretariat of  the Decade,  and the  resources provided for
this purpose has widened even further.

47.   As  highlighted in  the  report  of the  Secretary-General  (A/50/201-
E/1995/74, para. 108 (b)),  it is critical to ensure adequate resources  for
the secretariat.

48.  In  order to provide  for financial stability of the  Decade during the
remaining  period  until 1999,  in particular  with  a  view to  mapping the
international community's  strategy for disaster  reduction beyond the  year
2000, all options  discussed in section VI of  the present report should  be
considered  and   implemented  without  delay,   within  the  context  of  a
comprehensive and consolidated financial  strategy.  The  strategy should be
developed by  the secretariat,  as part  of the  Department of  Humanitarian
Affairs,  in close  consultation  with  all partners  of  the  International
Framework for  Action for the  Decade.  The  General Assembly may  therefore
wish  to  consider  providing  additional regular  budget  resources  to the
Department of  Humanitarian Affairs for the  remaining period  of the Decade
until  1999, for the  specific purpose  of strengthening  the secretariat of
the Decade.   This,  in combination  with a  broadening of  the donor  base,
contributions   from   the   private   sector   and   continued   secondment
arrangements, would  ensure the  viability and  effectiveness of  the Decade
and all that it represents.


Notes

  1/  See A/CONF.172/9, chap. I, annex II.

  2/  Ibid., chap. I, annex I.

  3/    Report  of  the  United   Nations  Conference  on  Environment   and
Development, Rio  de Janeiro,  3-14 June 1992  (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (vol.  I
and  vol. I/Corr.1, vol.  II, vol.III  and vol.  III/Corr.1) (United Nations
publication,  Sales  No.  E.93.I.8  and corrigenda),  vol.  I:   Resolutions
Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

  4/   Report of  the Global Conference  on the  Sustainable Development  of
Small   Island  Developing   States,  Bridgetown,   25  April-6   May   1994
(A/CONF.167/9  and Corr.1 and  2).   (United Nations  publication, Sales No.
E.94.I.8 and corrigenda), chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

/...  A/50/521
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A/50/521
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ANNEX I

Staffing table for the secretariat
of the Decade at September 1995


  Level                Post                                               

  D-2  Director
  D-1  Special adviser
  L-5  Senior expert
  L-4  Promotion officer
  L-3  Managing editor (outposted to Italy)
  L-3  Technical expert for project development
  L-3  Technical expert (outposted to Costa Rica)
  L-2  Associate expert
  GS/OL  Seven posts
/...A/50/521
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A/50/521
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ANNEX II

Trust Fund for the Decade

Statement of income and expenditures for the period 1990-1995 a/
(United States dollars)


1990
1991
1990-1991
1992
1993
1992-1993
1994
1995 b/
1994-1995 b/
Total









Income
943 223 c/
1 162 591
2 105 814
1 339 685
1 225 022
2 564 707
2 190 302
1 183 349
3 373 651

8 044 172/...Expenditure









Staff and other personnel costs
322 489
586 439
908 928
621 199
1 048 913
1 670 112
1 039 619
1 059 409
2 099 028
4 678 068Travel
65 989
35 464
101 453
36 525
124 700
161 225
300 226
148 343
448 569
711 247Contractual services
0
0
0
29 986
45 580
75 566
5 869
17 939
23 808
99 374Operating expenses and others
11 971
2 862
14 833
25 222
(6 060)
19 162
82 884
39 484
122 368
156 363Training, fellowships, grants and others
0
38 800
38 800
58 800
132 224
191 024
177 386
195 240
372 626
602 450Equipment and supplies, acquisitions
      0
 32 381
   32 381
  6 924
    21 804

   28 728
     9 836
          0
    9 836
   70 945     Subtotal
400 449
695 946
1 096 395
778 656
1 367 161
2 145 817
1 615 820
1 460 415
3 076 235
6 318 447Programme support costs
 52 058
 90 473
  142 531
 95 279
  162 827
  258 106
  209 984
  189 927
  399 911
  800 548     Total expenditure
452 507
786 419
1 238 926
873 935
1 529 988
2 403 923
1 825 804
1 650 342
3 476 146
7 118 995










  a/  Extract from the official United Nations statement of accounts.

  b/  Figures per statement of income and expenditures as at 31 July 1995.

  c/  Income for 1990 includes opening balance of $67,606.
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A/50/521
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ANNEX III

Annual costs of the secretariat of the
Decade and its core project activities
(1995 level - in thousands of United States dollars)

                                                                           
  

     Type of expenditure                                      Annual cost
                                                                           
  

A.  Core staff

  Director  D-2185.3
  Assistant to the Director  G-689.1
  Information systems expert (1/2)  G-536.0
  Administrative secretary  G-466.0
  Secretary (1/2)  G-3   30.0

       Subtotal  406.4


B.  Non-staff costs

1.  General temporary assistance10.0
  Consultants40.0
  Representation of Decade major conferences40.0
  Official travel of staff80.0
  Training1.0
  External translation25.0
  External printing75.0
  Telecommunications50.0
  Hospitality1.0
  Miscellaneous services5.0
  Office supplies10.0
  Office equipment (rental and maintenance)16.0
  Data-processing equipment (hardware and software)10.0
  Grants and contributions to organizations undertaking
    promotional activities for the Decade  180.0

       Subtotal543.0

2.  Scientific and Technical Committee, annual session
    (outside Geneva, without interpretation)120.0
  Special High-Level Council, annual session (New York)   60.0

       Subtotal180.0

  Total, A + B1 129.4
                                                                           
  
     Type of expenditure                                      Annual cost
                                                                           
  

C.  Core project activities

1.  Staff

  Special Adviser to Director  D-1 (172) a/

(a)  Promotional activities

  Expert  L-4142.1
  Associate programme officer (field)  L-3117.7
  Consultants  ---51.5
  Information systems expert (1/2)  G-536.0
  Secretary  G-466.0

(b)  Decade newsletter "Stop Disasters"

  Expert (field)  L-3117.7
  Consultant (field)  ---18.0

  Editor  ---51.6
  Secretary (1/2)  G-433.0

(c)  Management and coordination

  Expert  L-5162.2
  Expert  L-3117.7
  Consultant  ---81.0
  Secretary  G-466.0

(d)  Research and evaluation

  Expert  SSA (162) a/
  Consultant  ---96.0
  Junior Professional Officer  L-2 (102) a/
  Secretary (1/2)  G-330.0

(e)  Early warning and information systems

  Senior officer  P-5157.6
  Associate programme officer  P-293.3
  Consultant  ---42.0
  Secretary (1/2)  G-4 33.0

       Subtotal  1 512.4
                                                                           
  
     Type of expenditure                                      Annual cost
                                                                           
  

2.  Non-staff project costs

(a)  Promotional activities  166.3
(b)  Decade newsletter "Stop Disasters"  189.6
(c)  Management and coordination  573.4
(d)  Research and evaluation  515.0
(e)  Early warning and information systems  100.0

       Subtotal  1 544.3

  Total, C  3 056.7

  Grand total, A + B + C  4 186.1
                                                                           
  

                       

  a/  Direct funding.


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