United Nations

A/RES/50/117


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 February 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 96 (f)


                RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

         [on the report of the Second Committee (A/50/618/Add.5)]


       50/117.  International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction

                                       A

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 44/236 of 22 December 1989, 48/188 of
21 December 1993, 49/22 A of 2 December 1994 and 49/22 B of
20 December 1994,

      Expressing its solidarity with the people and countries that
suffer as a result of natural disasters,

      Emphasizing once again the urgent need for concrete measures to
reduce the vulnerability of societies to natural hazards, the loss of
human lives and the heavy physical and economic damage that occur as a
result of natural disasters, in particular in developing countries,
small island States and land-locked countries,

      Reiterating the validity of the conclusions of the first World
Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, held at Yokohama, Japan,
from 23 to 27 May 1994, in particular with regard to its call for
increased bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral
cooperation in the field of disaster prevention, preparedness and
mitigation,  1/

      Commending those countries, national and local institutions,
organizations and associations that have adopted policies, allocated
resources and initiated action programmes, including international
assistance, for disaster reduction and, in this context, welcoming the
participation of private companies and individuals,

      Commending all countries and intergovernmental and regional
organizations that have actively engaged in regional and subregional
assessments of vulnerability to natural hazards and have consequently
initiated regional and subregional cooperation in the field of
disaster reduction, including the exchange of data and technology, as
well as the development of joint administrative, technological and
scientific approaches for applied disaster reduction,

      Commending those organizations of the United Nations system and
other international organizations, scientific associations and
non-governmental organizations which, in accordance with decisions of
their governing bodies, have incorporated the recommendations of the
General Assembly relating to disaster reduction and those of the World
Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction in their programmes of work,
thus contributing towards effective progress in disaster reduction in
their mandated responsibilities and respective fields of activity,
including the allocation of budgetary resources for disaster
reduction,

      1.    Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-
General  2/ concerning the specific measures for the
implementation of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World:  Guidelines
for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its
Plan of Action, and requests the secretariat of the International
Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction to continue to promote and
monitor their translation into concrete activities, in close
cooperation with all bodies comprising the International Framework of
Action for the Decade,  3/ so as to ensure timely and effective
implementation;

      2.    Commends those developing and least developed countries that
have mobilized domestic resources for disaster reduction activities
and have facilitated the effective implementation of such activities,
and encourages all developing countries concerned to continue in this
direction;

      3.    Recommends that all countries, with appropriate support,
continue to study conventional and non-conventional ways and means of
financing disaster reduction measures, both at the national level and
with respect to subregional, regional and international technical
cooperation;

      4.    Calls upon Member States, relevant intergovernmental bodies
and all others involved in the Decade to participate actively in the
financial and technical support of Decade activities, in order to
ensure the implementation of the International Framework of Action for
the Decade, in particular with a view to translating the Yokohama
Strategy and the Plan of Action contained therein into concrete
disaster reduction programmes and activities;

      5.    Requests the Commission on Sustainable Development to pay
appropriate attention at its fourth session to the issue of disaster
reduction when considering the relevant chapters of Agenda 21  4/
and of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States;  5/

      6.    Welcomes the measures proposed by the Secretary-General to
bring the International Framework of Action for the Decade into line
with the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action, in order to provide
disaster reduction activities worldwide and regionally with
authoritative and effective programme guidance so as to ensure
stronger cohesion of disaster reduction programmes and the joint
participation of concerned sectors in their implementation;

      7.    Notes the initiative for an informal mechanism between the
secretariat of the Decade and Member States, intended to facilitate
and support the promotion of Decade activities and the regular
exchange of information between Governments, organizations of the
United Nations system and other organizations;

      8.    Welcomes, in pursuance of its resolution 49/22 A, the
restructuring of the Special High-Level Council and the Scientific and
Technical Committee for the Decade so that for the second half of the
Decade they will provide the necessary support to global, regional and
national policy and strategy development, public awareness-building
and resource mobilization, and at the same time provide links with the
scientific community and support the national committees for the
Decade and national authorities in their cooperative efforts to
integrate disaster reduction programmes into national activities for
sustainable development;

      9.    Endorses the decision of the Secretary-General to extend
until the end of the Decade the mandate of the United Nations Steering
Committee for the Decade, established in pursuance of General Assembly
resolutions 42/169 of 11 December 1987 and 44/236;

      10.   Emphasizes that effective and efficient coordination and
servicing of the above-mentioned components of the International
Framework of Action for the Decade require a financially and
structurally stable secretariat of the Decade, reporting to the
Secretary-General through the Emergency Relief Coordinator;

      11.   Decides, in pursuance of its resolution 49/22 A, to convene
a closing event of the Decade, through coordinated sectoral and cross-
sectoral meetings at all levels, in order to facilitate the full
integration of disaster reduction into the substantive efforts for
sustainable development and environmental protection by the year 2000;

      12.   Decides also that the secretariat of the Decade will serve
as the substantive secretariat for the preparation of the closing
event of the Decade, working with the full support of relevant bodies
of the United Nations Secretariat and drawing on the contributions of
the organizations of the United Nations system concerned, other
international organizations and Governments;

      13.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the availability of
resources for the preparatory process, including the necessary
enhancement of the capacity of the secretariat, and to appeal for
additional voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for the Decade;

      14.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General
Assembly at its fifty-first session, through the Economic and Social
Council, a report on the implementation of the International Framework
of Action for the Decade;

      15.   Further requests the Secretary-General to submit to the
General Assembly at its fifty-first session a report containing
proposals on how the distinct programme and coordination capability of
the secretariat of the Decade might be enhanced so as to enable it to
coordinate effectively the activities of the Decade and the
integration of natural disaster reduction into the sustainable
development process;

      16.   Decides to consider the question of the International Decade
for Natural Disaster Reduction at its fifty-first session, as a
separate sub-item under environmental questions related to the
environment and sustainable development.

                                                          96th plenary meeting
                                                              20 December 1995

                                       B

      The General Assembly,

      Reaffirming its resolutions 44/236 of 22 December 1989, 46/182 of
19 December 1991, 49/22 A of 2 December 1994 and 49/22 B of
20 December 1994,

      Taking note of Economic and Social Council resolutions 1995/47 A
and B of 27 July 1995,

      Concerned about the continued threat posed by natural disasters
and similar disasters with an adverse impact on vulnerable
communities, including their environments, particularly in developing
countries,

      Concerned also about the continuing threat posed by natural
disasters and similar disasters with an adverse impact on the
environment,

      Recalling the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World:  Guidelines
for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, and Mitigation and its
Plan of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Natural Disaster
Reduction on 27 May 1994,  6/

      Taking into account already existing early-warning capacities
within the United Nations system, in particular within the Department
of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat, the United Nations
Environment Programme, the World Meteorological Organization, the
World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations,

      Conscious of the need to avoid duplication of work among United
Nations bodies dealing with early-warning capacities,

      Emphasizing that early warnings of impending natural disasters
and similar disasters with an adverse impact on the environment,
linked to effective disaster preparedness measures and their effective
dissemination, using, in particular, telecommunications, including
broadcast services, are key factors to successful disaster prevention
and preparedness,

      Reaffirming that sustained economic growth and sustainable
development are essential for the prevention of and preparedness for
natural disasters and similar disasters with an adverse impact on the
environment and that special attention should be given to disaster
prevention and preparedness by the Governments concerned as well as by
the international community,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on early-
warning capacities of the United Nations system with regard to natural
disasters and similar disasters with an adverse impact on the
environment;  7/

      2.    Commends the secretariat of the International Decade for
Natural Disaster Reduction, as part of the Department of Humanitarian
Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, and all concerned agencies
and organizations of the United Nations system for the constructive
inter-agency approach they have applied, which has led to this initial
overview and analysis of early-warning concepts, capacities and gaps
and to proposals for improvements in coordination and capacity-
building with regard to such disasters;

      3.    Requests the Scientific and Technical Committee of the
Decade to continue, within the scope of its work on early-warning
capabilities, to examine and study new scientific and experimental
concepts and methodologies for accurate and timely short-term
forecasting of earthquakes, other natural disasters and similar
disasters with an adverse impact on the environment, with a view to
making recommendations on their applicability and development in the
context of international cooperation to improve preparedness for and
minimize the risks of such disasters;

      4.    Takes note of the conclusions and proposals made by the
Secretary-General in his report with respect to the improvement of
early-warning capabilities, better international coordination in their
use, and more effective and beneficial exchange of knowledge and
technology;

      5.    Invites the Secretary-General, in particular, to facilitate,
within the existing International Framework of Action for the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction,  8/ an
internationally concerted framework for improvements in early-warning
capacities by developing a concrete proposal for an effective
international mechanism on early warning, to include the transfer of
technologies related to early warning to developing countries, under
the auspices of the United Nations and as part of the implementation
of the International Framework, the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer
World and its Plan of Action;

      6.    Also invites the Secretary-General to take the steps
necessary to make the early-warning data gathered under the United
Nations auspices readily available to the decision makers concerned at
the international, national, regional and subregional levels;

      7.    Encourages all Governments to undertake, with the full
support of the United Nations system, regular reviews of early-warning
requirements and capabilities at national and community levels, within
the framework of the development of national disaster reduction
policies in order to enhance protection of their national populations
and assets;

      8.    Calls on the secretariat of the Decade to continue to
facilitate a concerted international approach to improvements in
early-warning capacities for natural disasters and similar disasters
with an adverse impact on the environment, within the process leading
towards the closing event of the Decade;

      9.    Recommends that donor countries give greater priority to
disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation in their assistance
programmes and budgets, on either a bilateral or multilateral basis,
including through increasing contributions to the Trust Fund for the
Decade, and promote and facilitate the transfer of technologies
related to early warning to developing countries within the framework
of the implementation of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action;

      10.   Encourages improved efforts, in the context of international
technical assistance and cooperation within the framework of the
implementation of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action,
towards facilitating the availability of appropriate technology and
reliable data, along with the corresponding training, and access to
network systems related to early warning, particularly to developing
countries;

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its fifty-second session on progress made in the
implementation of the present resolution.

                                                          96th plenary meeting
                                                              20 December 1995


                                     Notes

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

2/   A/50/201-E/1995/74.

3/   See resolution 44/236, annex.

4/   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.

5/   Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown, Barbados,
25 April-6 May 1994 (A/CONF.167/9 and Corr.1 and 2) (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.94.I.18 and corrigenda), chap. I, resolution
1, annex II.

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

7/   A/50/526.

8/   Resolution 44/236, annex.

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