United Nations

A/RES/45/100


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

14 December 1990

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                        A/RES/45/100
                                                        68th plenary meeting
                                                        14 December 1990
 
               Humanitarian assistance to victims of natural
                disasters and similar emergency situations
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Recalling its resolution 43/131 of 8 December 1988,
 
      Recalling that one of the principles of the United Nations is to achieve
 international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic,
 social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging
 respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction
 as to race, sex, language, or religion,
 
      Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of
 States, and recognizing that it is up to each State first and foremost to take
 care of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations
 occurring on its territory,
 
      Deeply concerned about the suffering of the victims of natural disasters
 and similar emergency situations, the loss in human lives, the destruction of
 property and the mass displacement of populations that results from them,
 
      Concerned about the fate of persons who, following such displacement, are
 in an extremely precarious situation, particularly in a country other than
 that of which they are nationals,
 
      Considering that the abandonment of the victims of natural disasters and
 similar emergency situations without humanitarian assistance constitutes a
 threat to human life and an offence to human dignity,
 
      Strongly desiring that the international community should respond
 speedily and effectively to the needs for emergency humanitarian assistance
 expressed in particular through the Secretary-General,
 
      Concerned about the difficulties and obstacles that victims of natural
 disasters and similar emergency situations may encounter in receiving
 humanitarian assistance,
 
      Convinced that, in providing humanitarian assistance, in particular the
 supply of food, medicines or health care, for which access to victims is
 essential, rapid relief will avoid a tragic increase in the number of victims,
 
      Recalling, in this regard, the Cairo Declaration adopted by the World
 Food Council at its fifteenth session, proposing, inter alia, an international
 agreement on the transport of emergency food aid,
 
      Aware that alongside the action of Governments and intergovernmental
 organizations, the speed and efficiency of this assistance often depend on the
 help and aid of local and non-governmental organizations working in an
 impartial manner and with strictly humanitarian motives,
 
      Reaffirming the need for the intergovernmental, governmental and
 non-governmental organizations dealing with humanitarian assistance to
 co-operate as closely as possible with the Office of the United Nations
 Disaster Relief Co-ordinator or any ad hoc mechanism set up by the
 Secretary-General in the co-ordination of aid,
 
      Concerned about the effectiveness of such assistance, which requires an
 accurate evaluation of needs, efficient preparation of actions and effective
 co-ordination in conducting them,
 
      Recalling that, in the event of natural disasters and similar emergency
 situations, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality must be
 given utmost consideration by all those involved in providing humanitarian
 assistance,
 
      1.   Reaffirms the cardinal importance of humanitarian assistance for the
 victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;
 
      2.   Reaffirms also the sovereignty of affected States and their primary
 role in the initiation, organization, co-ordination and implementation of
 humanitarian assistance within their respective territories;
 
      3.   Stresses the important contribution made in providing humanitarian
 assistance by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations working
 impartially and with strictly humanitarian motives;
 
      4.   Invites all States whose populations are in need of such assistance
 to facilitate the work of these organizations in implementing humanitarian
 assistance, in particular the supply of food, medicines and health care, for
 which access to victims is essential;
 
      5.   Appeals, therefore, to all States to give their support to these
 organizations working to provide humanitarian assistance, where needed, to the
 victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;
 
      6.   Notes with satisfaction the report of the Secretary-General on the
 implementation of resolution 43/131 and the suggestions which he makes
 concerning means of facilitating humanitarian assistance operations, in
 particular the possibility of establishing, on a temporary basis, where
 needed, and by means of concerted action by affected Governments and the
 Governments and intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental
 organizations concerned, relief corridors for the distribution of emergency
 medical and food aid;
 
      7.   Urges States in proximity to areas of natural disasters and similar
 emergency situations, particularly in the case of regions that are difficult
 to reach, to participate closely with the affected countries in international
 efforts with a view to facilitating, to the extent possible, the transit of
 humanitarian assistance;
 
      8.   Requests the Secretary-General to pursue, within existing resources,
 the necessary consultations with Governments and intergovernmental,
 governmental and non-governmental organizations with a view to determining
 means of facilitating the delivery of appropriate humanitarian assistance to
 the victims of natural disasters or similar emergency situations, including
 the establishment of relief corridors, on the basis of the report of the
 Secretary-General and on the terms set out in paragraph 6 of the present
 resolution, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh
 session;
 
      9.   Invites the Secretary-General to study, within existing resources,
 the possibility of preparing, on the basis of information furnished by
 Governments and the relevant governmental and non-governmental international
 organizations and taking into account the work already done in this area by
 the United Nations, in particular by the Office of the United Nations Disaster
 Relief Co-ordinator, an indicative list of persons and bodies with expert
 knowledge of the delivery and management of emergency humanitarian assistance
 whom the United Nations could call upon, with the consent of the States
 concerned, to make an accurate and speedy assessment of the needs and a
 realistic determination of the best means of delivering the aid;
 
      10.  Decides to consider this question at its forty-seventh session.