Guidelines On: The Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets In Disaster Relief - "Oslo Guidelines"

Manual and Guideline
Originally published


The "Oslo Guidelines" were originally prepared over a period of two years beginning in 1992. They were the result of a collaborative effort that culminated in an international conference in Oslo, Norway, in January 1994 and were released in May 1994. The following States and Organizations were involved in this effort:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, AFDRU, Brown University's Watson Institute, DHA, European Union/ECHO, ICDO, ICRC, IFRC, INSARAG, NATO, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, UNHCR, UN Legal Liaison Office, University of Naples, University of Ruhr, WHO and Western European Union. Over 180 delegates from 45 States and 25 organizations attended the conference.

The unprecedented deployment in 2005 of military forces and assets in support of humanitarian response to natural disasters, following an increasing trend over the past years, confirmed the need to update the 1994 "Oslo Guidelines". The Consultative Group on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA), at its annual meeting in December 2005, tasked OCHA's Civil-Military Coordination Section (CMCS) with this facelift, to reflect current terminology and organizational changes, following a layout similar to the 2003 "Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets to Support United Nations Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies" ("MCDA Guidelines").

The Oslo Guidelines were re-launched at an event hosted by the Government of Norway, in Oslo, on 27 November 2006, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Consultative Group on the Use of MCDA. Norway, Switzerland and Sweden took the lead in the update, facilitated by OCHA's Civil-Military Coordination Section / Emergency Services Branch.

Changes in this Revision 1.1 concern the addition of the word "foreign" in the title, as well as additions for clarification to paragraph 5, as per consensus in the Extraordinary Session of the Consultative Group on the Use of MCDA, on 28 November 2007.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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