Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Economic and Social Council opens humanitarian affairs segment

ReliefWeb (from a press release): The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this morning opened its humanitarian segment, held this year under the theme of “strengthening of the coordination of United Nations humanitarian assistance through enhancing the effectiveness of needs-based humanitarian assistance”, hearing an introduction of the reports of the Secretary-General under this item, as well as a report of the Joint Inspection Unit….

Positive developments had made it possible to operate more effectively and see the kind of progress in major humanitarian situations that had eluded the United Nations for decades. But despite these positive developments, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of civilians remained at risk. Words should be translated into concrete action that facilitated humanitarian access in a timely and consistent manner. Humanitarian action was the business of all countries and all peoples, and was based simply and solely on the needs of the vulnerable, the weak and the suffering.

…[Speakers] raised a number of issues, including that the alarming frequency and ferocity of natural disasters was a major concern of today's world. The number and scale of natural disasters, in developing countries in particular, over the past decade, were on the increase.…

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