General Assembly: 45th Plenary meeting, 77th Session

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06-Dec-2022 02:21:40
General Assembly adopts four draft resolutions to fortify lagging relief system, as world faces unprecedented levels of conflicts, humanitarian needs.

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(p)World Body Also Adopts Draft Resolution on International Year of Dialogue as Guarantee of Peace, 2023(br /)
Three decades since it created the United Nations humanitarian system, the General Assembly today adopted four draft resolutions to bolster a beleaguered relief apparatus struggling to help nearly 400 million people facing severe crises around the planet, as well as a text on the culture of peace.(/p)

(p)In opening remarks, Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, said a meeting on strengthening the coordination of emergency and humanitarian assistance of the United Nations could not come at a more fitting moment, as the world today is in a permanent state of humanitarian crisis. nbsp;“We are breaking all the wrong records,” he said.(/p)

(p)Referring to the Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 issued last week by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, he said the world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945 and 399 million people, the highest number ever, need humanitarian assistance. nbsp;“Statistics are the human beings with the tears wiped off,” he said, adding that this powerful image shows families, including children, the elderly and women, behind the statistics. nbsp;“They are all of us.”(/p)

(p)Underscoring 2022 as the thirty-first anniversary of Assembly resolution 46/182 (1991), he urged Member States to act on this session’s drafts to ensure a culture of transformational change. nbsp;The Central Emergency Response Fund is one of the fastest ways to scale up and provide sustained relief operations, he added, when no other funding is available.(/p)

(p)The Assembly then adopted the four humanitarian draft resolutions without a vote.(/p)

(p)In adopting the 19-page resolution “Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations”, the Assembly reaffirms the principles of its landmark resolution 46/182 of December 1991, encouraging the international community to support Member States’ efforts to prepare for disasters. nbsp;The text also encourages the development of multi-hazard warning systems and recognition of the Central Emergency Response Fund’s achievements.(/p)

(p)Aligning himself with the European Union, the representative of Sweden introduced the draft, which he said equips the humanitarian community with the necessary framework to deliver assistance. nbsp;The text introduces important language on climate change, cash assistance, safety and security of humanitarian personnel, need to narrow the humanitarian funding gap and strengthen partnerships with international financial institutions. nbsp;“We, as Member States of the United Nations, need to translate the words of the resolution into concrete action to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity across the globe.”(/p)

(p)According to the resolution “International cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development”, the Assembly recognizes the relationship between emergency response, rehabilitation and development, as well as the need to ensure a smooth transition between the three stages.(/p)

(p)The delegate of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced that draft, stressing the importance of assisting countries and people affected by natural disasters. nbsp;Underlining the importance of early action to minimize the impact of natural disasters, the draft recognizes the special financial needs of countries facing compound risks caused by humanitarian emergencies, natural disasters and climate change, he said.(/p)

(p)By the terms of the resolution “Assistance to the Palestinian people”, the Assembly underlines the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip and the need to advance its reconstruction. nbsp;The text calls on the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services to ease the difficult humanitarian situation faced by Palestinian women, children and their families and help reconstruct and develop relevant Palestinian institutions.(/p)

(p)Introducing the resolution, the representative of the Czech Republic, speaking for the European Union, expressed concern over the difficult humanitarian situation affecting Palestinians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly the Gaza Strip. nbsp;He called for full, unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza, noting that the European Union will keep contributing to Gaza’s development through investments in reforms, support to economic sectors and work in the water and energy sectors. nbsp;The bloc expects that Israel will facilitate such efforts, he said.(/p)

(p)The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine said there is no effective humanitarian response without a political response, underscoring the importance of delivering international action and promoting peaceful settlement to end the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.(/p)

(p)By the terms of the fourth resolution, “Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel”, the Assembly strongly condemned all acts of violence, attacks and threats against humanitarian, as well as United Nations and associated personnel. nbsp;The text also calls upon States to explore and scale up measures for more systematic monitoring, reporting and investigation of attacks against humanitarian and medical personnel.(/p)

(p)The Czech Republic’s delegate, who also introduced this draft, on behalf of the European Union, said instability, armed conflict and climate change have created the greatest need for humanitarian assistance in decades. nbsp;As humanitarian personnel face high risks to meet these needs, the international community has the moral obligation to mitigate this risk.. nbsp;He noted two worrying trends that emerged in 2022: nbsp;disinformation campaigns that undermine trust in the United Nations and humanitarian organizations and put their personnel at risk; and the negative impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being faced by nationally and locally recruited personnel.(/p)

(p)Delegates also emphasized the need for greater coordination, stronger frameworks and financing to meet the escalating humanitarian needs of the planet’s people.(/p)

(p)“The system is under water,” said Switzerland’s delegate, noting that expanding humanitarian needs are overwhelming the system and that the current trajectory is unsustainable. nbsp;The Assembly can help the United Nations system provide a more coordinated response with resolutions laying down the regulatory framework. nbsp;A more proactive approach is needed to reduce the impact of certain shocks, such as climate change. nbsp;“We are speaking of attitudes here,” she said. nbsp;“It is urgent to change the entire mindset of humanitarian work.”(/p)

(p)The representative of Brunei Darussalam, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that improving disaster management, risk and response capabilities is essential to build resilient communities and reach the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. nbsp;As one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, ASEAN is expanding its practices on disaster risk reduction and management and emergency response. nbsp;Speaking also on behalf of Sweden, India’s representative expressed commitment to preserving the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in responding to all humanitarian situations. nbsp;She called the $51.5 billion needed to help 230 million of the world’s most vulnerable people, as cited in the Global Humanitarian Review 2023, a formidable challenge for the entire international community, but highlighted encouraging improvements in data collection and flexible instruments like the Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pool Funds.(/p)

(p)The observer for the Sovereign Order of Malta said the United Nations is the last best hope to energize will and power to break through differences and put the needs of the sick, poor and marginalized at the centre. nbsp;“If all of us expand our collective collaboration with UN aid agencies and related bodies, we can be on the right side of history and continue to earn the respect of those who are, tragically, on the wrong side of the economic divide,” he said.(/p)

(p)The Assembly then turned to its agenda item on “Culture of Peace”, adopting without a vote the resolution “International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023”. nbsp;Introducing the resolution, the representative of Turkmenistan said it was a product of comprehensive consultations, reflecting the main principles of the United Nations Charter to settle disputes by peaceful means and save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.(/p)

(p)Also speaking today were representatives of Maldives, Qatar, Iran, Belarus, Poland, Philippines, Egypt, China, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Australia, United States, Russian Federation, Norway, Thailand, Canada, Romania, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Morocco, Chile, Kuwait, Sudan, France, Ukraine and Bangladesh, as well as the European Union.(/p)

(p)The representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) also delivered a statement.(/p)

(p)The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 7 December, to consider the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 7 December, to consider the reports of the Sixth Committee (Legal) and then take up the issue of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.(/p)
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