G77 Calls for Stronger Coordination Battling Humanitarian Crises

More than 6 million people in Somalia are in need of food assistance [Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA]

GENEVA, Jun 21 2017 - With the United Nations battling several humanitarian emergencies worldwide, the Group of 77 has called for stronger coordination of UN assistance to people caught up in the ongoing crises.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, a delegate from the Ecuadorean Mission to the United Nations said the Group strongly believes that the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly (GA) should have different mandates and functions — and avoid duplications in their respective work.

Given that ECOSOC is a technical body of the GA, its humanitarian affairs segment should focus on the operational aspects of humanitarian assistance and emergencies, the G77 said, during a meeting of the ECOSOC in Geneva.

The Member States of the Group requested they be constantly informed on the operationalization of the coordination of humanitarian assistance in emergency situations and the implementation of normative aspects, and how recommendations bring operational ideas to enhance coordination in the field.

The Group also stressed the need to pay equivalent attention to both conflict and security, on the one hand, and, emergencies and natural disasters, on the other. Relevant information and recommendations are necessary on these equally important issues in order to address the need to strengthen capacity building and resilience.

As an example, the Group singled out the issue of famine, a “very serious issue in several countries, for which substantive, concrete and operational recommendations are required to support efforts made to address the challenges linked to this phenomenon.”

The same observation can be applied to the important issue of responding to humanitarian emergencies in urban settings.

The Group expects further substance on the operationalization of the New Urban Agenda in the context of humanitarian assistance, along with concrete prospective recommendations in this regard.

At the same time, the Group also reaffirmed the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance, as well as the promotion and respect for international humanitarian law.

“We express concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures; we condemn the threats to and deliberate targeting of humanitarian personnel, including through acts of terrorism; and 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,” the G77 delegate told the ECOSOC meeting.

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