The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator

The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) is responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance. He also acts as the central focal point for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental relief activities.

The ERC also leads the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian partners. The IASC was established in June 1992 in response to resolution 46/182. General Assembly resolution 48/57 affirmed the IASC's role as the primary mechanism for the inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance.

In a country affected by a disaster or conflict, the ERC may appoint a Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to ensure response efforts are well organized. The HC works with government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and affected communities. An OCHA office will be established to support the HC.

Stephen O'Brien began the role of OCHA's USG/ERC on 1 June 2015. He succeeded Valerie Amos (September 2010 - May 2015).
 

The Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

On 5 January 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Ursula Mueller of Germany as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). She will succeed Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea, who is currently serving as Chief of the Transition Team in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

The ASG/ DERC is the principal advisor to the USG/ERC, with an emphasis on key policy and management issues. The ASG/DERC supports the USG/ERC in the discharge of her responsibilities as the Secretary-General's main adviser on humanitarian issues. 

The ASG/DERC also exercises a managerial overview of OCHA, ensuring effective cooperation between New York, Geneva and the field, and coordinates the OCHA Senior Management Team (SMT) work process.