In the Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law, Member States stressed that greater compliance with international humanitarian law is an indispensable prerequisite for improving the situation of victims of armed conflict, and reaffirmed the obligation of all States and all parties to armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances

[para. 20]. Member States also committed to ensuring that impunity is not tolerated for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity or for violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights law, and for this purpose, encouraged States to strengthen national judicial systems and institutions [para. 21].


Coordination of humanitarian relief operations due to natural disasters or armed conflict

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

OCHA is responsible for coordinating responses to emergencies.  It does this through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, whose members include the UN system entities most responsible for providing emergency relief.  A coordinated, system-wide approach to humanitarian relief is essential in providing assistance quickly and efficiently to those in need.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Since its beginning, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)  has strived to reach as many children as possible with effective, low-cost solutions to counter the biggest threats to their survival. UNICEF also consistently urges governments and warring parties to act more effectively to protect children.

UN Women

Through its inter-agency leadership and coordination role, UN Women supports other UN organizations in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in their humanitarian efforts. UN Women assists Member States in implementing policies and commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment in humanitarian action. It also promotes the voices, agency and capacity of women’s civil society organizations and national women’s machineries in humanitarian efforts. UN Women fulfills its humanitarian role by providing coordination and leadership, technical expertise, capacity-building, and evidence-based response and advocacy to the global humanitarian system.

World Food Programme (WFP)

The World Food Programme (WFP)  provides relief to millions of people, who are victims of disasters. It is responsible for mobilizing food and funds for transport for all large-scale refugee-feeding operations managed by UNHCR.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates the international response to humanitarian health emergencies.  WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats.

Relevant Documents and Links