STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA ON THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON "STRENGTHENING OF THE COORDINATION OF EMERGENCY HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS" AT THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (New York, 3 May 2017)
The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Secretary General for his report on "Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations", submitted in response to Assembly resolution 71/127 and Economic and Social Council resolution 2016/9.
The Group takes note of the report and would like to make the following observations:
- The Group strongly believes that the ECOSOC and the GA have different mandates and functions, and should avoid duplications in their respective work. Given that ECOSOC is a technical body of the General Assembly, its Humanitarian Affairs Segment should focus mainly on the operational aspects of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian emergencies. The report of the Secretary General lacks focus on these operational aspects.
- On the contrary, we noticed that the report focuses more on normative aspects, with few concrete elements on the operationalization of the coordination of humanitarian assistance in emergency situations. We would have preferred more information on what the UN is doing to implement normative aspects and that the recommendations bring operational ideas to enhance coordination in the field of humanitarian assistance, rather than having a simple summary of the General Assembly resolution. We regret, for instance, that there is no specific data and information on gender markers and forecast-based financing.
- We have also noticed a tendency in the report to focus more on conflict and security related emergencies, while other emergencies, including the ones related to natural disasters did not get the necessary attention. The Group would like to reiterate that this report is also prepared on the basis of the ECOSOC resolution. Last year's ECOSOC HAS resolution contains several paragraphs on natural disasters and the need to strengthen capacity building and resilience to these disasters, including through transfer of technologies. However, the report does not provide relevant information and recommendations on these equally important issues.
- For example, the issue of famine that is becoming very serious in several countries is not thoroughly addressed in the report. We do not see any substantive recommendation on this serious issue. The report should go beyond the general recommendations and provide more concrete and operational recommendations that would support efforts made to address the challenges linked to this phenomenon.
- Same observation goes for the important issue of responding to humanitarian emergencies in urban settings. The report only mentions the New Urban Agenda it in general terms while the expectations of the Group were to see more substance on the operationalization of this Agenda in the context of humanitarian assistance, along with concrete prospective recommendations in this regard.
- We also believe that the report does not provide enough focus on enhancing national leadership. While the report mentions local partners, we believe that capacity building is different from enhancing leadership. The latter is a confirmation of the primary role of affected States in humanitarian assistance.
- The report is about coordination of humanitarian assistance among the different humanitarian actors and relevant development agencies. However, the report does not provide further information on how this coordination is implemented and what are the identified gaps.
- The report is silent on the repeated requests to address the insufficient diversity in geographical representation and gender balance in the composition of humanitarian staff of the United Nations, in particular regarding professional and high-level staff. The report should provide data status of humanitarian staff and more information on what is being done to address this gap.
- The report provides some data and statistics without providing the source, including those related to the situation in specific countries. The Group would be grateful if the secretariat provides further information on the source of the data used and how it is gathered.
- The Group fully disagrees with the idea contained in paragraph 12 stating that "war is the biggest driver of poverty". There is no scientific study or data that proves this link. Therefore we believe that this statement is wrong and misleading. Moreover, it ignores the fact that poverty is indeed one of the main drivers of war and violence.
Mr. Vice President,
The Group of 77 and China would like to recall that not all UN Member States participated in the World Humanitarian Summit. In addition, the Group would like to underline that there was not intergovernmentally agreed outcome of the Summit.
In conclusion, the Group of 77 and China expresses the hope that future reports of the Secretary General to the ECOSOC HAS will tackle a broader range of issues and provide more substance on the operational aspects of humanitarian assistance, in line with the Resolution 46/182.
I thank you.