H.E. YUSRA KHAN
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF INDONESIA
68TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
AGENDA ITEM 70: STRENGTHENING OF THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RELIEF ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS
12 DECEMBER 2013
Indonesia aligns this statement with the statement made by Brunei Darussalam on behalf of ASEAN countries.
At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his reports, which provide a comprehensive overview for the agenda item under deliberation.
A major concern that the reports brought to our attention is the increasing number of people affected by humanitarian emergencies, including those associated with natural disasters. Along with the increasing number of affected people, the situation on the ground has also become more complex in nature. It demands scaled up efforts in the global humanitarian architecture to improve modalities and capacities to enable an effective response for growing demands on humanitarian assistance.
With an international humanitarian landscape that is characterized by an entwined web of various actors namely governments, private sector, community leaders, IGOs and NGOs, and even military; improving coordination and cooperation amongst actors, and putting in place a coherent response to any complex emergencies, particularly in the field level, is key.
There needs to be strengthened, effective and accountable international humanitarian responses. And efforts to strengthen capacities, frameworks and resources need to be continued.
Despite all the complexities, however, my delegation wishes to reiterate that the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, which are humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, remain relevant. These principles must be fully adhered and respected by all actors and in all humanitarian operations.
We appreciate the updates on the work of the Central Emergency Response Fund. We commend the CERF for its role in the recent heartbreaking devastation that our brothers and sisters in the Philippines have to endure, because of typhoon Haiyan. In less than a decade since its inception, the Central Emergency Response Fund has played a crucial role in supporting humanitarian response in nearly every major emergency worldwide, including through its multi-sector interventions.
My delegation underscores the significance of continuing efforts to ensure and increase the predictability, sustainability and rapid disbursement of CERF’s funding, as a complementary to the already existing humanitarian funding mechanisms.
According to the IDMC’s estimation for 2012, more than 30 million people in 82 countries were displaced because of natural disasters, or almost double the number from 2011. Moreover, the damages and losses stood over US$ 138 billion. That means that 2012 marked the third consecutive year for economic disaster losses to exceed US$ 100 billion.
These series of unfortunate events that led to complex emergencies in 2012 strengthen the case for a timely, effective and well-targeted humanitarian response. Such staggering figures also build a strong case to seamlessly link emergency relief with early recovery and development. Linking the two enables the affected country to offset the economic losses. For the affected population it helps them to get past the crisis and start building back their lives by securing livelihoods and planning for their futures. For this reason, resources and investment should be channeled to strengthen capacities for humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction and preparedness, especially in developing countries.
Reducing disaster risks helps to address the complexities of humanitarian emergencies while mitigating the damages to economic and social development.
Let’s therefore continue building our disaster risk reduction and resilience efforts.
And let’s look at all premises to integrate comprehensive, effective and inclusive disaster reduction measures in the development framework, including in the post-2015 development agenda.
My delegation reaffirms that the concerned state has the primary role in initiating, organizing, coordinating and implementing humanitarian assistance. However, the United Nations has a central role in providing leadership to coordinate the international community’s support for the affected country.
The United Nations with its universality and mandate, must be able to play a pivotal role in the global humanitarian architecture, not only in financing, but also in coordinating, delivering and reporting on the response to humanitarian crises.
In performing this role, my delegation emphasizes the importance of cooperation and coordination between the UN and regional organizations, including in ensuring timely and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The UN system and relevant actors should continue to enhance humanitarian capacities, knowledge and institutions, including through the transfer of technology and expertise to developing countries. The international community, the relevant entities of the UN system and other relevant institutions and organizations should support national authorities in building and strengthening their capacity to build resilience, mitigate disaster risks and to prepare for, and respond to disasters.
Governments, humanitarian and development organizations need to develop a common understanding on the various risks that could lead to a humanitarian crisis. It is important in this regard, to develop local, national and regional emergency preparedness plans that draw upon community knowledge and focus on education and institution building.
Developing comprehensive plans need to involve all relevant stakeholders and actors, including the local community, women, persons with disabilities and the private sectors.
Finally, Mr. President, I would like to close by reiterating my Delegation’s support to the Secretary-General’s initiative to convene the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, and our commitment to engage constructively in the preparations towards the Summit.
I thank you.
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