UNGA Second Committee Calls for Increased International Aid to Countries Affected by El Niño Phenomenon

Sixty-third UN General Assembly 18 November 2008: The Second Committee (Economic and

Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), at its 63rd session, approved by

consensus a draft resolution calling on the international community to step up

assistance to countries affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

According to the

draft text, the Assembly would call upon the international community, the

Secretary-General and relevant UN organs, funds and programmes, particularly

those involved in the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, to adopt

measures to strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño in

Guayaquil, Ecuador. Further, the Assembly would recognize the efforts of the

Ecuadorean Government, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the

Inter-Agency Secretariat for the International Strategy that led to the

creation of the Research Centre. The text further provides that UNGA would ask

the international community to provide scientific, technical and financial

assistance and cooperation for strengthening the Research Centre in Ecuador and

others centers devoted to studying El Niño.

The Assembly would underscore the

importance of: maintaining the El Niño/Southern Oscillation observation system;

continuing research on extreme weather events; improving forecasting skills;

developing appropriate policies for reducing El Nino's impact; and further

enhancing and strengthening those institutional capacities in all countries,

particularly developing ones. Finally, UNGA would encourage the WMO to

strengthen collaboration as well as the exchange of data and information with

relevant institutions. [UN Press Release]