Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Ursula Mueller, Welcome Remarks to the Annual Consultations on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination, Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week


Geneva, Switzerland 8 February 2018

As delivered

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the Plenary Session of the Annual Consultations of the Consultative Group on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination, or UN-CMCoord.

Here, during Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week, we have the opportunity to interact beyond our traditional networks, to address different modalities of collaboration and how to make our work together as effective as possible.

Identifying civil-military coordination mechanisms that work well in chaotic crisis contexts, is more important than ever. There is virtually no humanitarian operation today—be it a conflict, complex emergency or natural disaster—that does not involve some form of humanitarian civil-military coordination.

The UN-CMCoord Consultative Group is a great example of the kind of collaboration that is needed in humanitarian action. It brings together civilian and military bodies of Member States, UN agencies, NGOs and other organizations, each of which engages in civil-military coordination in some shape or form.

I note with pride that OCHA’s Civil-Military Coordination Section was presented with an Award of Excellence 2017 by the CIMIC Centre of Excellence, for its outstanding contributions to the field of civil-military interaction.

Over the past year, the OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Section engaged in at least 160 events, where it spurred discussion between Governments, inter-governmental organizations and civil society, to reach a common understanding of the role that each of us plays in humanitarian action.

This year we also reached the target of over 2,000 individuals trained through our online, interactive UN-CMCoord eCourse. This learning tool has now become a mandatory requirement to join the face-to-face events of the UN-CMCoord Training Programme. I thank you all for your help in disseminating it.

In 2017, OCHA’s CMC staff not only deployed on UN-CMCoord field support missions, but also participated in the Emergency Response Roster and UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination missions, to support effective, principled, coordinated system-wide response in humanitarian crises. They also interacted with their network of UN-CMCoord officers and focal points throughout the world, to ensure timely response and appropriate use of foreign military assets supporting humanitarian action.

To further support our partners at all levels, OCHA updated the Guide for the Military and is currently revising the UN-CMCoord Field Handbook which will include contributions from the Consultative Group.

OCHA’s senior leadership remains committed to its role and responsibilities as the UN focal point for humanitarian civil-military coordination and we will continue to ensure that OCHA is an active leader in this field.

There will be ample opportunity today to discuss these and many other CMCoord initiatives that you are involved in.

Thank you.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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