"HIV/AIDS and international peacekeeping operations"
I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (A/60/87-E/2005/78) and for the concrete recommendations he has put forward.
Brazil appreciates the excellent work and invaluable leadership of Jan Egeland, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, especially at particularly difficult times for the UN, and his staff in OCHA. We also render homage to the humanitarian community and all those who provide some hope for people who are suffering all over the world.
We join other delegations in recalling that General Assembly resolution 46/182 continues to provide the framework for UN humanitarian activities. We should also highlight that humanitarian assistance must be provided in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality.
I will offer brief remarks regarding some of this year’s important issues that have been raised.
We are particularly supportive of the approach of Mr. Egeland to make the UN humanitarian system more predictable.
Indeed, despite all the achievements, there is plenty of room for systemic improvement and rearrangement. The report, for instance, underlines the need to address capacity gaps in critical sectors, such as water and sanitation, shelter, camp management and protection. There are also suggestions to improve coordination by making the best use of the resources, avoiding overlappings or gaps. It is essential to ensure that the humanitarian response meets the basic needs of affected populations in a timely manner.
National institutions are crucial to tackle humanitarian crises. In fact, the affected State has the primary role in providing humanitarian aid within its territory. Consequently, there is a need to build and sustain capacity and preparedness at the country level. Attention should be given to transfer of technology and expertise. Building capacity at the national level is also a way to create a range of options for the affected country and foster self-confidence among local communities so that they can face their own problems.
As stressed throughout the report, much also needs to be done to address the financial gaps. Not only the current level of financing does not match the requirements, but also the distribution of humanitarian assistance is uneven and, therefore, not afforded on the basis of need.
This year started with the global outpouring of sympathy and aid on the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. The UN has displayed once again its unique role in providing leadership and in coordinating the efforts of the international community to support those in need of humanitarian assistance. It was encouraging to see the international community facing a calamity with full spirit of cooperation. In our country, as elsewhere, the display of solidarity to the tsunami victims was extraordinary.
Such a favorable atmosphere should linger, reaching fully the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. We appreciate the efforts of Former US President and UN Special Envoy Bill Clinton to keep up the momentum to tackle long-term recovery and “build back better”.
The international response to the tsunami should serve as a model to other crises and grave problems, including the neglected emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report refers to rather alarming figures concerning the situation in Africa: of the 14 appeals for Africa, eight have attracted less than 20% of the requested. Many African countries suffer the effects not only of insurgencies and armed conflicts, but also of chronic hunger, extreme poverty, economic stagnation, pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, as well as environmental hazards. The international community must swiftly deliver on its pledges beyond cases of highly visible emergencies that mobilize public opinion in developed countries.
We need to ensure a more equitable distribution of humanitarian assistance, so that aid could be allocated in a non-discriminatory, balanced and proportionate manner.
We take note with interest of the proposal to introduce a mechanism to ensure equitable funding of crises and sectors, as well as for neglected emergencies, such as expanding the use of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund to include both a loan capacity and a grant component.
On a concluding note, Mr. President, Brazil fully concurs with the Secretary-General that we need to “put humanity first”. Once the victims are placed at the center-stage not only as recipients of aid but also bearers of rights, our debates can lead to concrete measures to improve the situation on the ground.
Thank you, Mr. President.