United Nations

A/RES/48/57


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

14 December 1993

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                 A/RES/48/57
                                                 78th plenary meeting
                                                 14 December 1993
 
          Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency
                                   assistance of the United Nations
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming its resolutions 46/182 of 19 December 1991 and 47/168 of 22
December 1992,
 
      Reaffirming also the guiding principles contained in section I of the
annex to its resolution 46/182,
 
      Noting that States have submitted replies to the Secretary-General
pursuant to paragraphs 7 and 8 of its resolution 47/168,
 
      Taking note of the relevant decisions of operational agencies,
organizations, programmes and funds of the United Nations system concerning
their participation in a coordinated response to humanitarian emergencies,
 
      Deeply concerned about the increasing number and growing magnitude and
complexity of natural disasters and other emergencies,
 
      Concerned about the impediments created by natural disasters and other
emergencies to the efforts of the affected countries to achieve development,
 
      Emphasizing the importance of a timely, prompt and effective
humanitarian response,
 
      Stressing the importance of a coordinated response to natural disasters
and of technical and financial assistance to the natural-disaster-prone
countries in the fields of disaster preparedness and mitigation, including
exchange of information and post-disaster development activities,
 
      Noting the encouraging results of the operation of the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund and its increasing utilization by the operational agencies,
 
      Recognizing the increasing need for humanitarian assistance and adequate
financial resources to ensure a prompt response by the United Nations to
humanitarian emergency situations, both for relief and for the continuum to
development,
 
      Recognizing also the need to strengthen coordination further, in
particular field coordination, on humanitarian assistance, bearing in mind
that coordination should be field-oriented,
 
      Noting also the humanitarian and rehabilitation aspects of the problem
of mine clearance, in the context of its resolution 48/7 of 19 October 1993,
 
      Welcoming the efforts being undertaken in the Inter-Agency Standing
Committee to develop a coherent and complementary approach on the part of the
relevant operational and development actors to the continuum-related
activities,
 
      Stressing the need for adequate protection of personnel involved in
humanitarian operations in accordance with relevant norms and principles of
international law and within the context of General Assembly resolutions
47/120 A of 18 December 1992 and 47/120 B of 20 September 1993, taking into
account recent initiatives in this regard,
 
      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;
 
      2.    Agrees fully with the agreed conclusions of the Economic and
Social Council, the implementation of which will be reviewed by the Council at
its substantive session of 1994;
 
      3.    Emphasizes the leadership role of the Secretary-General, through
the Emergency Relief Coordinator and working closely with him, in coordinating
a coherent and timely response to humanitarian emergencies;
 
      4.    Stresses the essential need for improved coordination within the
United Nations system, and, while reaffirming the mandate and functions of the
Department of Humanitarian Affairs to that end, requests the Emergency Relief
Coordinator to improve coordination and management further, both at
Headquarters and at the field level, including the coordination of the work of
the relevant operational agencies;
 
      5.    Invites the intergovernmental bodies of the relevant operational
organizations and agencies to provide full support for system-wide
coordination, under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, in
order to facilitate an effective response at Headquarters and at the field
level to natural disasters and other emergencies;
 
      6.    Also stresses, in this regard, that the Inter-Agency Standing
Committee, under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, should
serve as the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination, meet more
frequently and act therefore in an action-oriented manner on policy issues
related to humanitarian assistance and on formulating a coherent and timely
United Nations response to humanitarian emergencies;
 
      7.    Further stresses the necessity of accelerating the development of
an emergency information system, within the Department of Humanitarian
Affairs, to collect and disseminate timely information on natural disasters
and other humanitarian emergencies, including information provided by the
national Government, United Nations agencies, donors and relief organizations,
to provide early warning of a crisis, to assess needs on a continuing basis
and to track financial and other contributions;
 
      8.    Recognizes the need to increase the resources available in the
Central Emergency Revolving Fund, including through timely repayment of funds,
invites potential donors to make additional contributions to the Fund, and
requests the Secretary-General to conduct consultations to that effect, taking
fully into account the need to secure contributions to the Fund on an assured,
broad-based and additional basis;
 
      9.    Decides to expand the scope of the Central Emergency Revolving
Fund to include the International Organization for Migration;
 
      10.   Invites operational agencies to contribute to field-level
coordination in the early stages of an emergency;
 
      11.   Requests the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to agree, as a matter
of urgency, on the best means and guidelines to ensure adequate human and
financial resources for rapid response coordination, including the provision
of resources that could be drawn on by the Emergency Relief Coordinator for
establishing special coordination arrangements in the initial stage of an
emergency, taking into account the relevant provisions of General Assembly
resolutions 46/182 and 47/199 of 22 December 1992 and of the agreed
conclusions of the Economic and Social Council related to field-level
coordination;
 
      12.   Decides also, pending a final decision to be taken by the Economic
and Social Council at its substantive session of 1994, on the basis of the
recommendations of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, as well as on the
experience gained, to authorize, in exceptional circumstances, on a time-bound
basis and while preserving the revolving nature of the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and relevant operational
agencies, under the leadership of the Coordinator, to draw from the interest
earned by the Revolving Fund to enhance rapid response coordination where
insufficient capacity exists at the field level;
 
      13.   Also requests the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to provide
recommendations on other issues related to field coordination, including
measures taken for clear allocations of responsibilities at an early stage of
an emergency, in particular by entrusting the primary responsibility to the
operational agencies, as appropriate, and on standardized procedures for joint
emergency needs assessment missions, under the overall leadership and
coordination of the Emergency Relief Coordinator;
 
      14.   Requests the Secretary-General to include in his annual report on
the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance recommendations on
practical measures to enhance the coordinated system-wide support for efforts
to facilitate the transition from emergency relief to rehabilitation and
development and, particularly in the context of activities of the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, the promotion of national
capacity-building to help prevent and mitigate future emergencies;
 
      15.   Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to strengthen the
consolidated appeals process, making it more field-oriented, and to ensure
that such appeals are based on specific priorities resulting from
comprehensive and realistic projections of relief requirements for natural
disasters and other emergencies requiring a coordinated response, and in this
context invites all concerned operational and humanitarian organizations and
agencies to cooperate and fully participate in the preparation of these
appeals; 
 
      16.   Calls upon States to respond quickly and generously to
consolidated appeals for humanitarian assistance, taking into account
rehabilitation and long-term development requirements;
 
      17.   Invites the Secretary-General to examine further all possible ways
and means to provide, within existing resources, adequate qualified personnel
and administrative resources commensurate with the responsibilities of the
Department of Humanitarian Affairs in dealing with the increasing number of
natural disasters and other emergencies;
 
      18.   Stresses the importance of the Emergency Relief Coordinator
participating fully in the overall United Nations planning of responses to
emergencies in order to serve as the humanitarian advocate in ensuring that
the humanitarian dimension, particularly the principles of humanity,
neutrality and impartiality of relief assistance, is taken fully into account;
 
      19.   Emphasizes the importance of the role of the Emergency Relief
Coordinator in facilitating access by the operational organizations to
emergency areas for the rapid provision of emergency assistance by obtaining
the consent of all parties concerned, through modalities such as the
establishment of temporary relief corridors where needed, days and zones of
tranquillity and other forms, including facilitating for those organizations
the return of refugees and displaced persons;
 
      20.   Requests the Secretary-General to include in his annual report to
the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session recommendations on ways and
means to improve the operational capacity of the emergency stockpiles, as well
as an analysis of the advantages or disadvantages, including promptness of the
response and cost-effectiveness, of the establishment of regional warehouses,
taking into account the existing facilities and the possibility of
strengthening them;
 
      21.   Also requests the Secretary-General to include in his report to
the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1994 the
recommendations of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee requested in paragraphs
11 and 13 of the present resolution;
 
      22.   Further requests the Secretary-General to include in his annual
report on the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance to the General
Assembly at its forty-ninth session information on the progress made in the
implementation of the present resolution and on ways of further strengthening
coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance within the United Nations
system.