IASC turned 30!
19 December 2021 marks 30 years since UN Member States negotiated and adopted General Assembly resolution 46/182: “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations.”
This pivotal resolution marked the international community’s collective commitment to help the world’s most vulnerable people when they need it most. It set out the principles that guide humanitarian work and enabled partnerships between Governments, the UN, non-governmental organizations and other humanitarian entities, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies.
Resolution 46/182 introduced cohesion to humanitarian responses through creation of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), which brings together both United Nations (UN) and non-UN entities to save lives and reduce suffering. Today, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is the primary mechanism for the coordination of inter-agency humanitarian action. The IASC’s value and critical role as the mandated forum for principled humanitarian response, enables the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) and member organizations to more effectively assist and protect people affected by conflict, disasters and other emergencies. The IASC furthermore advocates for safeguarding International Humanitarian Law, humanitarian space and the application of humanitarian principles.
Resolution 46/182 also propelled the creation of humanitarian mechanisms that are crucial to current operational responses, including the Emergency Relief Coordinator position, and the Humanitarian Country Teams, coordinated financial appeals (originally through the Consolidated Appeals Process) and the Central Emergency Revolving Fund, now known as the Central Emergency Response Fund.
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 worldwide who face the devastating effects of violent conflict and natural disasters.