STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MS. NADYA RASHEED, FIRST COUNSELLOR, OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS IN PREPARATION OF THE UPCOMING ECOSOC HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS SEGMENT (New York, 8 March 2019)
Distinguished Vice President,
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to thank H.E. Ambassador Hilale, in his capacity as the Vice-President of ECOSOC and Chair of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), for holding these informal consultations in preparation of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment. We welcome these informals as a brainstorming session on how we can cooperate to collectively strengthen the HAS and improve its methods of work.
3. The Group 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.
4. The Group of 77 and China will make some preliminary remarks and present ideas on some of the questions contained in the note verbal of 22 February 2019 sent to delegations by the Kingdom of Morocco.
5. Firstly, the Group believes that the intergovernmental nature of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment provides a key opportunity for Member States, the United Nations system, development actors, the private sector and other humanitarian partners to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.
6. In regard to how to make HAS more visible and ensure a high-level participation. The Group welcomes the participation of Minsters, particularly in high level panels and side events, while maintaining the effective engagement and meaningful consultation between UN agencies and Member States at other levels.
7. On the themes, the Group maintains that one option is for the Chair or the Secretariat to propose theme options, similar to the established practices of some Commissions. The Group maintains that themes should be mutually agreed and focused.
8. Another idea the Group would like to propose is for UN agencies to hold strategy consultations with Member States and other stakeholders during the HAS in relation to its themes. For instance, OCHA could organize a session on how UN country teams are dealing with challenges in the humanitarian context and invite Member States to provide reactions and inputs.
9. Having said that, the Group would also like to present some themes that may be considered: In this regard, we propose the following:
a) "Mainstreaming gender, age, and disability in humanitarian planning and response -- policies and mechanisms." The Group would propose that discussions can commence about how UN agencies are actually mainstreaming the participation and needs of these groups, which in turn would allow Member States to provide concrete feedback on the mechanisms' sufficiency.
Other general themes that the Group can propose are:
b) Localization on preparedness and response
c) Effectiveness of humanitarian assistance
d) Protection of local and international humanitarian personnel
e) Inclusive partnership to support the transition process from emergency to development
f) Role of community/religious leaders to assist in humanitarian assistance delivery
g) Partnership between government and non-government actors, including expertise and innovative funding.
h) Coordination with national and local authorities
10. On the panels of the HAS, the Group would welcome less time being spent on hearing presentations and case studies and welcome more time being spent on constructive discussions of how UN agencies and Humanitarian Response Plan implementing partners are systemically addressing emerging and/or important issues, such that Member States can more easily and effectively comment.
11. Having a Chair's summary could serve useful so that recurring themes discussed during the segment as well as constructive, consensus-based and action-oriented recommendations made in regard to pressing and emerging challenges in the humanitarian context can be recorded for continued and future consultations.
12. In regard to making side-events more relevant, the Group believes requests should be made for the organizers of the side-events to focus their events on the themes of that year's HAS.