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close this bookThe Courier No. 136 - Nov-Dec 1992 - Dossier Humanitarian Aid Country Reports Sao Tomé-Principe-Senegal (European Community, 1992)
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United Nations Resolutions

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Resolution no. 43/131 of X December 1990
Humanitarian assistance to victims of disasters and similar emergency situations

The General Assembly

Recalling that one of the purposes of the United Nations is to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion,

Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States, and recognizing that it is up to each State first and foremost to take care of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations occurring on its territory,

Deeply concerned about the suffering of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, the loss in human lives, the destruction of property and the mass displacement of populations that result from them,

Bearing in mind that natural disasters and similar emergency situations have grave consequences for the economic and social plans of all countries concerned,

Desiring that the international community should respond speedily and effectively to appeals for emergency humanitarian assistance made in particular through the Secretary-General.

Mindful of the importance of humanitarian assistance for the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations,

Recognizing that the international community makes an important contribution to the sustenance and protection of such victims, whose health and life may be seriously endangered,

Considering that the abandonment of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations without humanitarian assistance constitutes a threat to human life and an offence to human dignity,

Concerned about the difficulties that victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations may experience in: receiving humanitarian :assistance,

Convinced that, in providing humanitarian assistance in particular the supply of food, medicines or health care, for which access to victims is essential, rapid relief will avoid a tragic increase in their number,

Aware that alongside the action of Governments and intergovernmental organizations, the speed and efficiency of l this assistance often depends on the help and aid of local and non-governmental organizations working with strictly humanitarian motives,

Recalling that, in the event of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality must be given utmost consideration by all those involved in providing humanitarian assistance,

1. Reaffirms the importance of humanitarian assistance for the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;

2. Reaffirms also the sovereignty of affected States and their primary role in the initiation, organization, coordination and implementation of humanitarian assistance within their respective territories;

3. Stresses the important contribution made in providing humanitarian assistance by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations working with strictly humanitarian motives;

4. Invites all States in need of such assistance to facilitate the work of these organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, in particular the supply of food, medicines and health care, for which access to victims is essential;

5. Appeals, therefore, to all States to give their support to these organizations working to provide humanitarian assistance, where needed, to the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;

6. Urges States in proximity to areas of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, particularly in the case of regions that are difficult to reach, to participate closely with the affected countries in international efforts with a view to facilitating, to the extent possible, the transit of humanitarian assistance;

7. Calls upon all the intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with humanitarian assistance to co-operate as closely as possible with the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator or any other ad hoc mechanism set up by the Secretary-General in the coordination of aid;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to seek the views of Governments, intergovernmental, governmental and nongovernmental organizations with regard to the possibility of enhancing the effectiveness of international mechanisms and increasing the speed of assistance in the best possible conditions for the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, where needed, and to report his findings to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session;

9. Decides to consider this question at its forty-fifth session.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Resolution no. 45/100 of 14 December 1990
Humanitarian assistance to victims of disasters and similar emergency situations

The General Assembly

Recalling its resolution 43/131 of 8 December 1988,

Recalling that one of the principles of the United Nations is to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion,

Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States, and recognizing that it is up to each State first and foremost to take care of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations occurring on its territory,

Deeply concerned about the suffering of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, the loss in human lives, the destruction of property and the mass displacement of populations that results from them,

Concerned about the fate of persons who, following such displacement, are in an extremely precarious situation, particularly in a country other than that of which they are nationals,

Considering that the abandonment of the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations without humanitarian assistance constitutes a threat to human life and an offence to human dignity,

Strongly desiring that the international community should respond speedily and effectively to the needs for emergency humanitarian assistance expressed in particular through the Secretary-General,

Concerned about the difficulties and obstacles that victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations may encounter in receiving humanitarian assistance,

Convinced that, in providing humanitarian assistance, in particular the supply of food, medicines or health care, for which access to victims is essential, rapid relief will avoid a tragic increase in the number of victims,

Recalling in this regard, the Cairo Declaration adopted by the World Food Council at its fifteenth session, proposing, inter alia, an international agreement on the transport of emergency food aid,

Aware that alongside the action of Governments and intergovernmental organizations, the speed and efficiency of this assistance often depend on the help and aid of local and non-governmental organizations working in an impartial manner and with strictly humanitarian motives,

Reaffirming the need for the intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with humanitarian assistance to co-operate as closely as possible with the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator or any ad hoc mechanism set up by the Secretary-General in the co-ordination of aid,

Concerned about the effectiveness of such assistance' which requires an accurate evaluation of needs, efficient preparation of actions and effective co-ordination in conducting them,

Recalling that, in the event of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality must be given utmost consideration by all those involved in providing humanitarian assistance,

1. Reaffirms the cardinal importance of humanitarian assistance for the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;

2. Reaffirms also the sovereignty of affected States and their primary role in the initiation, organization, co-ordination and implementation of humanitarian assistance within their respective territories;

3. Stresses the important contribution made in providing humanitarian assistance by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations working impartially and with strictly humanitarian motives;

4. Invites all States whose populations are in need of such assistance to facilitate the work of these organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, in particular the supply of food, medicines and health care, for which access to victims is essential;

5. Appeals, therefore, to all States to give their support to these organizations working to provide humanitarian assistance where needed, to the victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations;

6. Notes with satisfaction the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 43/131 and the suggestions which he makes concerning means of facilitating humanitarian assistance operations, in particular the possibility of establishing, on a temporary basis, where needed, and by means of concerted action by affected Governments and the Governments and intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned, relief corridors for the distribution of emergency medical and food aid;

7. Urges States in proximity to areas of natural disasters and similar emergency situations, particularly in the case of regions that are difficult to reach, to participate closely with the affected countries in international efforts with a view to facilitating, to the extent possible, the transit of humanitarian assistance;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to pursue, within existing resources, the necessary consultations with Governments and intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations with a view to determining means of facilitating the delivery of appropriate humanitarian assistance to the victims of natural disasters or similar emergency situations, including the establishment of relief corridors, on the basis of the report of the Secretary-General and on the terms set out in paragraph 6 of the present resolution, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session;

9. Invites the Secretary-General to study, within existing resources, the possibility of preparing, on the basis of information furnished by Governments and the relevant governmental and non-governmental international organizations and taking into account the work already done in this area by the United Nations, in particular by the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator, an indicative list of persons and bodies with expert knowledge of the delivery and management of emergency humanitarian assistance whom the United Nations could call upon, with the consent of the States concerned, to make an accurate and speedy assessment of the needs and a realistic determination of the best means of delivering the aid;

10. Decides to consider this question at its forty-seventh

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
Resolution no. 688 of 5 April 1991

The Security Council,

Mindful of its duties and its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Recalling Article 2, paragraph 7, of the Charter of the United Nations,

Gravely concerned by the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas which led to a massive flow of refugees towards and across international frontiers and to cross-border incursions, which threaten international peace and security in the region,

Deeply disturbed by the magnitude of the human suffering involved,

Taking note of the letters sent by the representatives of Turkey and France to the United Nations dated 2 April 1991 and 4 April 1991, respectively (S/22435 and S/22442),

Taking note of the letters sent by the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations dated 3 and 4 April 1991, respectively (S/22436 and S/22447),

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq and of all States in the area,

Bearing in mind the Secretary-General's report on 20 March 1991 (S/22366), Condemns the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region;

2. Demands that Iraq, as a contribution to removing the threat to international peace and security in the region, immediately end this repression and expresses the hope in the same context that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected;

3. Insists that Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and to make available all necessary facilities for their operations;

4. Requests the Secretary General to pursue his humanitarian efforts in Iraq and to report forthwith, if appropriate on the basis of a further mission to the region, on the plight of the Iraqi civilian population, and in particular the Kurdish population, suffering from the repression in all its forms inflicted by the Iraqi authorities;

5. Requests further the Secretary-General to use all the resources at his disposal, including those of the relevant United Nations agencies, to address urgently the critical needs of the refugees and displaced Iraqi population;

6. Appeals to all Member States and to all humanitarian organizations to contribute to these humanitarian relief efforts;

7. Demands that Iraq cooperate with the Secretary-General to these ends;

8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.