STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE ECOSOC HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS SEGMENT (New York, 19 June 2018)
Distinguished Vice President,
1- I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2- The Group of 77 underlines the importance of the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment as an essential platform for discussing how engagement by Member States, the UN System and other relevant stakeholders can continue to enhance the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance in order to effectively address the needs of the increasing number of people affected by humanitarian emergencies. The Group welcomes this year's theme entitled "Restoring Humanity, Respecting Human Dignity and Leaving No-one Behind: Working together to reduce people's humanitarian needs, risk and vulnerability".
Mr. Vice President,
3- General Assembly Resolution 46/182, and the guiding principles, namely humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence for the provision of humanitarian assistance remain the global framework for humanitarian assistance and coordination, as well as the promotion and respect for international humanitarian law. We express concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with the International Law and the Charter of the United Nations. We call upon all States and parties to comply with the provisions of international humanitarian law in order to protect and assists civilians, including in occupied territories.
4- The Group would like to underline that response to humanitarian emergencies must be based on respect principles of International law, namely the sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.
5- International cooperation, technical and financial support from states, as well as the United Nations remain indispensable. At the same time, it must be channeled in a way that does not undermine or replace the national or local mechanisms already put in place but rather to strengthen them to afford governments the ability to respond promptly and more effectively and make significant and positive change for affected communities. In this regard, the Group of 77 recalls the primary role of affected states in humanitarian assistance, as well as national leadership in the initiation, organization and coordination of humanitarian assistance.
6- In light of growing humanitarian need, the importance of increased and predictable humanitarian financing through innovative and diversified means from other states, humanitarian and development organizations, and the private sector is becoming more urgent to assist developing countries to enhance their capacities and mobilize their own resources. To this end, the Group has encouraged the UN system through this year's resolution to enhance its efforts with respect to the anticipatory financing mechanisms with a view to scale up predictive mechanisms to support effective and timely humanitarian assistance, while ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches its intended beneficiaries.
7- We are also pleased to see that this year's draft resolution contains new elements, on the role of affected populations in humanitarian emergencies, and elements that further build on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. We would like to highlight the importance that the ECOSOC Humanitarian Assistance resolution capitalizes on the economic, social and development functions of ECOSOC, as well as its operational and technical aspects.
8- The Group underlines the need to take necessary actions to address the insufficient diversity in geographical representation and gender balance within the composition of humanitarian staff of the United Nations, particularly professional and senior-level staff. Sufficient data and statistics on humanitarian staff should be readily available, as well as more information on what is being done to address this gap. The Group is looking forward to be updated on the concrete measure to be taken by the Secretariat in this regard as requested by this year's resolution.
9- The Group reaffirms that relief, recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction and longer-term development are different means to the one ultimate end and their complementarity should be underscored to ensure effective coordination of humanitarian assistance. While acknowledging that there is a need to narrow the humanitarian-development divide, yet, we must not blur the line that separates their mandates and priorities. We are firm in the conviction that there is a new way of working that brings them closer together while allowing them to do their respective functions in accordance with their comparative advantages in an integrated and coordinated manner.
Mr. Vice President,
10- Finally, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China I would like to commend the leadership, and efforts shown and exercised by the Co-facilitators of Switzerland and Zambia during this year of successful negotiations on the draft resolution on "Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations" to be adopted during this Humanitarian Affairs Segment. The Group of 77 reiterate its commitment for constructive collaboration with all parties for strengthening the coordination and provision of humanitarian assistance.