Resolution 46/182, which created the humanitarian system, turns twenty-five

19 December, 2016
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On 19 December 1991, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 46/182, which created the humanitarian system. This pivotal resolution marked the international community’s collective commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable people when they need it most.

Resolution 46/182 designed the blueprint for today’s international humanitarian system, which tirelessly strives to provide life-saving assistance. The resolution propelled the creation of humanitarian mechanisms that are crucial to current operational responses. One example is the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which brings different parts of the UN together for a better coordinated and harmonized response to reach people who need urgent assistance.

The resolution also resulted in the creation of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA has an indispensable role, not only in coordinating and mobilizing urgent humanitarian response, but also in guiding policy and practice and advocating on behalf of the millions of people living in protracted crises around the world. Over the past 25 years, millions of people who have faced the horrors of violent conflict and natural disasters have received urgently needed humanitarian aid.

The resolution also paved the way for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has saved so many lives by funding those emergencies and crises that would otherwise have not received adequate funding. Since it was created in March 2006, CERF has disbursed more than US$4.5 billion to 98 crises, thanks to generous contributions from over 126 Member States and observers.

As long as disasters and violent conflicts continue to place civilian populations and humanitarian workers in extreme danger, it is clear that resolution 46/182 is urgently needed. The international community must not grow weary in the face of looming challenges, but it must continue to build on the good work of the past 25 years, seeking innovative and effective solutions so that no one is left behind.

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