World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Updated Guidelines for Military Aid in Disasters

UN Updates Guidelines for International Military Aid in Disaster Relief Operations

New York, Nov 28 2006 9:00AM

The United Nations today launched updated guidelines for improving the effectiveness of foreign military and civil defence assets in international disaster relief operations, such as those used in response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami two years ago.

“In order to protect the principles of humanity, neutrality, and impartiality and at the same time be prepared to use these valuable resources in extraordinary circumstances, we need to maintain a continuous professional dialogue with military and civil defence organizations throughout the world,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland told a high-level meeting in Oslo, Norway.

The meeting was convened by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to “re-launch” the so-called Oslo Guidelines, first endorsed in Oslo in 1994.

The unprecedented deployment in 2005 of military forces and assets in support of humanitarian responses to natural disaster confirms the need to update the guidelines, OCHA said. Many of the updates reflect current terminology and organizational changes.
The international humanitarian community and UN agencies should only call on these resources when there are no other viable alternatives and with due regard for the sovereignty and leading role of local authorities in the affected State, the guidelines stress.

More than 100 participants from both civilian and military sectors of Member States and organizations attended the forum to discuss civil-military coordination and cooperation.

Such coordination has grown tremendously since the 1994. Recent examples of use of international Military and Civil Defence Assets include the earthquake in Iran in December 2003, the floods in Bangladesh in July 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, the quake in Pakistan in 2005, and floods in Algeria this February.

In the case of the tsunami, 35 countries provided some type of military or civil defence aid, including 75 helicopters, 41 major ships, 43 airplanes and nearly 30,000 troops. This posed significant operational coordination challenges for all – for the affected host nations, for assisting countries and for the UN and other relief organizations.

Member States, even those who do not give a primary role to their military forces in domestic response, are now using their military capacity for relief operations on a global basis. These resources range from traditional medical and engineering support to often-needed aviation capabilities used to speed assistance to the stricken population.

“Foreign military and civil defence assets should be requested only where there is no comparable civilian alternative and only the use of military or civil defence assets can meet a critical humanitarian need,” the guidelines state. “The military or civil defence asset must therefore be unique in capability and availability.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news