United Nations

A/RES/49/139


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

20 December 1994

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                              A/RES/49/139
                                              93rd plenary meeting
                                              20 December 1994
 
 
            49/139.  Strengthening of the coordination of emergency
                     humanitarian assistance of the United Nations
 
                                       A
 
          Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian
                        assistance of the United Nations
 
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming its resolutions 46/182 of 19 December 1991, 47/168 of 22
December 1992 and 48/57 of 14 December 1993,
 
      Reaffirming also the guiding principles contained in section I of the
annex to its resolution 46/182,
 
      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,
 
      Concerned about the impediments created by natural disasters and other
emergencies to the efforts of the affected countries to achieve sustainable
development,
 
      Recognizing the increasing need for humanitarian assistance and adequate
financial resources to ensure a prompt, timely and effective response by the
United Nations to humanitarian and natural disasters and other emergencies,
both for relief and for the continuum to development,
 
      Recognizing also the need to strengthen further coordination of
humanitarian assistance, in particular in the field, bearing in mind that
coordination should be field- oriented,
 
      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,
 
      Welcoming also the efforts of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of
the Secretariat, in particular in the context of the International Decade for
Natural Disaster Reduction, to promote disaster prevention, mitigation and
preparedness measures,
 
      Noting the encouraging results of the operation of the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund and its increasing utilization by the agencies,
 
      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General of 21 June and 1
November 1994;
 
      2.    Takes note of the report of the President of the Economic and
Social Council to the General Assembly on the informal consultations he
conducted in accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 1994/291 of
27 July 1994;
 
      3.    Also takes note of the measures outlined by the Secretary-General
in his report for strengthening field coordination of humanitarian assistance,
and acknowledges the need further to develop and strengthen system-wide
coordination, including cooperation among operational agencies, the Department
of Humanitarian Affairs and non-governmental organizations, in accordance with
the provisions of resolution 46/182, to improve the capability for a quick and
coordinated response to natural disasters and other emergencies while
preserving the non-political, neutral and impartial character of humanitarian
action;
 
      4.    Further takes note of the measures and procedures recommended by
the Inter-Agency Standing Committee regarding the in-country coordinator, and,
with due regard to the provisions of paragraph 39 of the annex to resolution
46/182, requests the Secretary-General, through the Economic and Social
Council in 1995, to report further on the matter, including the implications
of those recommendations, taking fully into account the views of Governments
on those recommendations;
 
      5.    Stresses the need for the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to serve
as the primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination under the leadership of
the Emergency Relief Coordinator, to meet frequently and to conduct its
business in a transparent manner, inter alia, through the prompt dissemination
of its conclusions;
 
      6.    Acknowledges the need further to develop and strengthen the
cooperation between the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and other concerned
parties to improve the capability for a quick and coordinated response to
natural disasters and other emergencies;
 
      7.    Notes that the usefulness of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund
has been fully recognized by the operational agencies, in particular for
enhancing their capacity to address promptly the urgent requirements of the
initial phase of natural disasters and other emergencies that require a
system-wide response in accordance with resolution 46/182;
 
      8.    Recognizes the need to maintain an adequate level of resources in
the Central Emergency Revolving Fund, and requests the Emergency Relief
Coordinator, when resources fall below this level, to bring the matter to the
attention of the States;
 
      9.    Requests the Secretary-General to continue taking measures to
ensure the availability of resources in the Central Emergency Revolving Fund,
inter alia, by encouraging States to reimburse as a high priority projects
that have been financed from the Fund and by requiring operational agencies to
certify that advances from the Fund have been drawn in accordance with
resolution 46/182, establishing the appropriate uses of the Fund;
 
      10.   Also requests the Secretary-General to explore the feasibility of
seeking in- kind donations to meet early emergency requirements;
 
      11.   Also 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 continue consultations to that effect,
taking fully into account the need to secure contributions to the Fund on an
assured, broad-based and additional basis;
 
      12.   Invites the Secretary-General further to pursue efforts to improve
and adjust the technical and procedural functioning of the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund and to explore ways and means for strengthening the
complementarity between the Fund and the individual emergency funds of
operational agencies;
 
      13.   Calls upon States to respond quickly and generously to
consolidated appeals for humanitarian assistance, taking into account the need
for rapid-response funding as well as rehabilitation and long-term assistance
requirements;
 
      14.   Urges all concerned operational and humanitarian organizations and
agencies to cooperate and participate fully in the preparation of the
consolidated appeals in order to ensure the prompt launching of such appeals,
based on specific priorities;
 
      15.   Requests that in preparing appeals the Department of Humanitarian
Affairs and the agencies highlight funds borrowed from the Central Emergency
Revolving Fund and indicate which projects those borrowed funds supported;
 
      16.   Stresses the responsibility of organizations having drawn from the
Central Emergency Revolving Fund to reimburse the Fund in the first instance
from the voluntary contributions received in response to consolidated appeals,
and urges that resources advanced by the Fund be reimbursed fully and in a
timely manner;
 
      17.   Endorses the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee
that the arrangement for financing rapid-response coordination from the
interest earned by the Central Emergency Revolving Fund should be continued;
 
      18.   Urges all operational agencies to collaborate fully with the
Department of Humanitarian Affairs, particularly in the early phase of an
emergency, in providing sufficient financial and human resources for rapid
coordination arrangements in order to enhance the rapid-response capability of
the system as a whole;
 
      19.   Stresses the need to create a sound and stable financial basis for
the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, and invites the Secretary-General to
explore all solutions to achieve an adequate level of financing from the
regular budget;
 
      20.   Welcomes the adoption of the Convention on the Safety of United
Nations and Associated Personnel.
 
                                       B
 
        Participation of volunteers, "White Helmets", in activities of
            the United Nations in the field of humanitarian relief,
            rehabilitation and technical cooperation for development
 
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming its resolutions 46/182 of 19 December 1991, in particular,
the guiding principles embodied in the annex thereto, 47/168 of 22 December
1992 and 48/57 of 14 December 1993,
 
      Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1993/205 of 12 February
1993 and the agreed conclusions of the coordination segment of the Council of
1993, as well as Council decision 1994/291 of 27 July 1994,
 
      Recalling also its resolutions 45/264 of 13 May 1991 and 48/162 of 20
December 1993,
 
      Recognizing, in the light of the increasing number and growing magnitude
and complexity of natural disasters and other emergencies, the need to utilize
fully the national potential of countries in providing the United Nations, on
a stand-by basis, with support for its activities in the area of humanitarian
emergency assistance, as well as in the promotion of a smooth transition from
relief to rehabilitation, reconstruction and development,
 
      Also recognizing the importance of enhancing the national capacity of
countries in disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness, as well as the
importance of eradication of poverty in developing countries, in order to
reduce their vulnerabilities,
 
      Welcoming national initiatives, such as the establishment of a national
volunteer corps called "White Helmets", undertaken in order to strengthen the
stand-by capacity of developing countries, to support the United Nations
activities in the area of humanitarian emergency assistance, as well as in the
promotion of a smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation, reconstruction
and development,
 
      Further recognizing the role of the United Nations Volunteers, including
in the mobilization of resources oriented towards the provision of
humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and technical cooperation for development,
 
      1.    Notes with satisfaction the initiatives undertaken by the
international community in order to facilitate quick and adequate response to
humanitarian emergencies and to provide effective support to the
rehabilitation and development efforts of affected countries;
 
      2.    Encourages voluntary national and regional actions aimed at
providing the United Nations system, on a stand-by basis, with specialized
human and technical resources for emergency relief and rehabilitation, and, in
this regard, notes with satisfaction the establishment, in particular in
developing countries, of national volunteer corps;
 
      3.    Also encourages those national volunteer corps to develop the
appropriate capabilities in order to cooperate, at the field level and in
their respective area of expertise, with the United Nations system and
non-governmental organizations, in accordance with the relevant provisions of
resolution 46/182 and other relevant United Nations resolutions;
 
      4.    Invites Governments to promote at the national level the
development of innovative financial mechanisms to fund these national stand-by
capacities, by involving, inter alia, the private sector;
 
      5.    Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Economic
and Social Council at its next substantive session incorporating the views
expressed by Governments and appropriate intergovernmental organizations and
relevant entities within the United Nations system, in particular the
Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat and the United Nations
Volunteers, on ways and means of strengthening national and regional stand-by
arrangements, including the establishment and full utilization of national
volunteer corps, in the area of emergency humanitarian assistance, as well as
in the promotion of a smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation,
reconstruction and development, taking into account existing mandates and
activities of the United Nations system;
 
      6.    Invites the Secretary-General, in this context, to include in his
report for consideration at the next substantive session of the Economic and
Social Council the results of his assessment of the potentials of:
 
      (a)   The provision by the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and the
United Nations Volunteers of coordination for activities to be undertaken by
national volunteer corps, including the supportive role of the Resident
Coordinator at the country level;
 
      (b)   The establishment of a distinct window within the Special
Voluntary Fund of the United Nations Volunteers for channelling funds for
operational purposes;
 
      (c)   The use of databases within the United Nations system to
coordinate and facilitate the rapid provision of assistance by national
volunteer corps to the United Nations system;
 
      (d)   Experiences at the national level with regard to, inter alia,
selection and training, deployment, status and security, and the effective
utilization of stand-by arrangements;
 
      7.    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 his annual report on strengthening of the
coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, in
accordance with resolution 46/182.