– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union warmly welcomes this year’s report of the Secretary-General. We join the Secretary General in deploring the effects of conflicts, which negatively impact the life and safety of civilian populations and cause immense human suffering. We are deeply concerned over the continued impossibility of the international community to deliver aid to all the people in need. The lack of respect for the fundamental humanitarian principles and unhindered access, combined with increased security risks for humanitarian workers, have become major impediments to delivering urgent humanitarian aid. From Syria to Sudan, from Mali to Afghanistan, there are still too many people in need whom humanitarian assistance can not reach. The international community must continue calling strongly for the respect of the fundamental humanitarian principles of humanity, independence, impartiality and neutrality and for unimpeded access to all people in need.
Over the last years we have witnessed an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, devastating human lives and livelihoods, especially in the most vulnerable communities. We take some small comfort from the fact that the impact of natural disasters has been somewhat lower in the past year, but also that in several cases – such as Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines– the impact of natural disasters has clearly been mitigated by preparedness measures, vindicating this approach. The EU as part of the overall international humanitarian system encourages other countries and regions to step up their contribution to the overall humanitarian preparedness and response.
We commend the progress accomplished over the past year in the coordination of humanitarian assistance as well as in broadening partnerships. The gap between global humanitarian needs and the resources available, together with chronic vulnerability in many parts of the world, continues to impact the lives of millions of people in need. The European Union and its Member States, collectively the world’s biggest humanitarian donor, are continuing to do their part in ensuring humanitarian funding and support. In spite of the economic crisis gravely affecting much of the EU, the European public continues to strongly support humanitarian spending. There is no doubt that EU solidarity with people in need remains strong.
This year’s report and resolution, as well as the humanitarian affairs segment of ECOSOC, are particularly important, since they represent an opportunity to work on the key themes proposed for the 2015 World Humanitarian Summit. The European Union and its Member States welcome the initiative of the Summit. In addition to reaffirming and consolidating the humanitarian principles, or – to paraphrase some EU integration jargon – our common “acquis humanitaire”, the Summit will also be an opportunity to make the current system more effective notably by making it more inclusive and fit for the challenges ahead. We believe that the consultation process leading up to theSummit should be as inclusive as possible and reflect the diversity of actors that contribute to the multilateral humanitarian system, including UN member states, affected populations, and international and national/local civil society.
In conclusion, let me once again congratulate the Secretary-General and OCHA on this good report, and on the preparatory work already being undertaken for the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of ECOSOC and for theSummit. We duly take note of the report’s recommendations. We look forward to working closely and constructively with the facilitators and other member states on this year’s resolution.
Thank you Mr. President.
*Croatia, theformer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Montenegro andSerbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.