RG Early Warning and Preparedness - first meeting
SUMMARY RECORD AND ACTION POINTS
03 MARCH 2016
The IASC Secretariat introduced the objective of the meeting: establishment of the new Reference Group on Early Warning and Preparedness, discussion on ToR and future workstreams, clarification of structure (membership and co-chair arrangements). The RG falls under Priority 1 of the WG workplan: Effective Response to Emergencies and Protracted Crises. The RG’s workplan should be in line with the parameters established in the WG workplan, however as a RG there is greater flexibility both in terms of time lines and contents. Synergies should be built with other relevant subsidiary bodies and other relevant groups/stakeholdes; it is the task of sponsors under priority 1 to ensure that the co-chairs work together and synergies are worked and recognized. UNICEF and InterAction have stepped forward as sponsors under priority 1.
The secretariat shared a generic ToR, which should be adapted to the RG. Similar processes are currently being undertaken by all subsidiary bodies with the expectation that key objectives are identified, ToR adapted (or developed) and reporting submitted on previous workplans.
WFP questioned whether the RG was established for a one or two year period. The secretariat noted that the WG workplan entailed a commitment to revisit priorities this year, however that the RG might want to focus on developing deliverables for one year, which could easily be built upon. The WG workplan only sets macro-level outputs and there was an expectation that the RG would spell out tasks with greater detail.
UNDP highlighted that the issue was quite dominant within the WHS and that greater tasking might be forthcoming over the coming months. It was suggested that it might be useful to just continue with the existing TT until after the WHS. The secretariat highlighted that the WG had discontinued the previous TT and had expressly stated a wish to identify deliverable for the coming few months rather than waiting for the WHS to deliver; on that basis the RG was established.
WHO and WFP stressed work on these issues needed to continue and should not be paused and that several initiatives were ongoing to which the RG should link and opportunities existed to strengthen preparedness.
Tony Craig, WFP identified itself as a possible chair of the RG, receiving support from two other agencies. UNDP’s Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction team based in Geneva also stepped forth as potential co-chair. As not every agency which has voiced an interest was able to take part in this first meeting, the choice of co-chair was postponed. Everyone however recognized the need to identify co-chairs as soon as possible.
IASC Secretariat suggested actioning a Work Plan and TOR as soon as possible from today’s meeting. WFP agreed to draft the ToR and workplan and to submit both documents by COB Friday 4 March 2016 for comments to the RG.
InterAction suggested also holding meetings in New York. The Secretariat noted participation in both Geneva and New York should be enabled and that it is useful to have chairs who can operate in both locations.
- Tony Craig, WFP, to draft a Work Plan and TOR by COB Friday 4 March 2016 (GMT+1) for input by the RG membership.
- Those present to reach out to interested Ngo colleagues with the objective to increase NGO membership of the group.