Disaster Response
Archbishop at UN calls for "steady commitment" to disaster relief
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In a Monday speech to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the head of the Holy See's mission to the United Nations, addressed the General Assembly on the topic of responding to disasters. Notable among his proposals were enrolling the help of faith-based organizations and his mention of the need for long-term aid.

He noted at the outset his sincere condolences to the people and the government of Bangladesh in the wake of the recent cyclone that killed thousands and displaced millions.

The relief workers who risked their lives in responding to such disaster areas merited special assistance, he said.

"It is for the safety of these humanitarian workers and for the welfare of the suffering people they assist that we must work for a truly effective, coordinated, and humane disaster response system," he stated.

Disaster relief does not include only natural disasters, the archbishop said, but also includes the man-made disasters of armed conflicts.

"Armed conflicts have devastated societies in many places, taken lives, ruined economies, set back development and frustrated efforts to restore peace," the archbishop said.  He insisted that all parties involved in armed conflicts must fully comply with the rules and principles of international law in the protection of humanitarian personnel.  He repeated the obligation of all parties in a conflict to allow aid workers full access to those in need of assistance and to guarantee civilians and all victims of armed conflicts safe and unhampered access to humanitarian aid.

He saw the United Nations' position as key in guaranteeing international law and humanitarian response in disasters.  The United Nations, he thought, could enhance collaboration among humanitarian organizations to more effectively respond to crises.

Archbishop Migliore noted UN member states' increased focus on disaster prevention and risk reduction. The best way to respond to disasters is through knowledgeable and effective local agents to respond to emergency situations and reduce their long-term costs and consequences, he explained. In particular he endorsed local civic and faith-based organizations as highly effective in disaster response, and called on all governments to engage, support, and protect such groups.

While grateful for the outpourings of goodwill and international solidarity that news coverage of disasters provides, Archbishop Migliore insisted that long-term recovery requires the continued interest and support of the international community.  Disaster relief is very problematic when international attention weakens, and resources are directed to other priorities.

He said this weakened attention was very costly, "especially in post-conflict situations in which the probability of a relapse to violence is very high, or in places where a truly catastrophic natural disaster wiped out the economic base of entire communities."  

"A steady commitment is necessary if sustainable and long-term recovery system of peoples and regions affected is to be achieved," he declared.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27