STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE STATE OF PALESTINE DURING THE UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC) HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS SEGMENT (New York, 24 June 2019)
1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, allow me, on behalf of the Group, to thank you and other members of the Bureau for organizing this very important segment.
2. The Group welcomes this year's theme entitled "Promoting action to save lives, reach those in need, and reduce humanitarian risk, vulnerability and need: looking towards the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Secretary-General's Climate Summit." The Group also welcomes the panel discussions for this year's segment.
3. The Group reiterates the importance of the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment as an important platform for discussing how Member States, the UN System and other relevant stakeholders can better engage in order to further enhance the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance to effectively address the needs of the increasing number of people affected by humanitarian emergencies.
4. Moreover, the Group reaffirms its commitment and support to the guiding principles articulated in the annex of the General Assembly Resolution 46/182, as the founding resolution of the framework for the provision of UN humanitarian assistance. Member States, in cooperation with United Nations humanitarian organizations, should continue to provide humanitarian assistance in accordance with this resolution. This includes by promoting greater respect for and full adherence to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.
5. The Group continues to express concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with International Law and the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, the Group calls 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.
6. The Group wishes to state that humanitarian emergencies resulting from natural disasters as well as other causes, such as the outbreak of infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases, merit the same level of attention as those resulting from man-made conflicts. The adverse effects of climate change are real and sudden, especially to the least developed and small island developing states, as these countries are among the first to experience the worst and most devastating impacts of climate change with greater risks to economies, livelihoods, and food security. The massive humanitarian consequences that follow are even more catastrophic. The Group would like to underline that response to humanitarian emergencies must be based on respect for the principles of International law, namely the sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.
7. In addition, international cooperation, technical and financial support from states, as well as the United Nations remain indispensable. At the same time, the Group reiterates it must be carried out in a manner that does not undermine or replace the national or local mechanisms already put in place and instead it should strengthen them to allow governments the ability to respond promptly and more effectively and make significant and positive change for affected communities. In this regard, the Group recalls the primary role of affected states in humanitarian assistance, as well as national authorities in the initiation, organization and coordination of humanitarian assistance.
8. 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. In this regard, the Group continues to encourage the UN system to enhance its efforts with respect to the anticipatory financing mechanisms and approaches, such as forecast-based and risk financing, including disaster risk insurance, with a view to scale up predictive mechanisms to support effective and timely humanitarian assistance, to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches its intended beneficiaries, especially those most in need.
9. The Group continues to express its deep concern over the growing funding gap which still exists in addressing the humanitarian needs on the ground and takes this opportunity to appeal to donor countries to increase assistance.
10. Furthermore, 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 and seamless coordination of humanitarian assistance. While acknowledging that there is a need to narrow the humanitarian-development divide, it is important that we do not blur the line that separates their mandates and priorities. The Group is firm in our 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.
11. 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 Indonesia during this year of negotiations on the draft resolution on "Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations" to be adopted tomorrow afternoon. The Group reiterates its commitment for constructive collaboration with all parties for strengthening the coordination and provision of humanitarian assistance for all those in need.