Thursday, 9 September 2010

Henrik Beer and the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs

Every week. sometimes every day, I discover something new about Henrik Beer. Today I discovered he was a founding member of the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs along with Susanna Agnelli, Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Paulo Evaristo Arns, Mohammed Bedjaoui, Henrik Beer, Igor Blishchenko, Luis Echeverria Alvarez, Pierre Graber, Ivan Head, M. Hidayatullah, Aziza Hussein, Manfred Lachs, Robert McNamara, Lazar Mojsov, Mohammed Mzali, Sadako Ogata, David Owen, Wilibald Pahr, Shridath Ramphal, Ru Xin, Salim A. Salim, Leopold Senghor, Soedjatmoko, Desmond Tutu, Simone Veil and Gough Whitlam.Here is more information.


Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues

"The General Assembly,…

Invites the independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues to continue and further strengthen its activities in cooperation with the governmental and non-governmental bodies concerned;

Requests the Secretary-General to remain in contact with Governments as well as non-governmental organizations and the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues and to report on the progress made by them to the General Assembly…"

UN General Assembly Resolution 49/170 of 13 December 1994 relating to the Promotion of a "New International Humanitarian Order"

IBHI Objectives

To identify opportunities for more efficient action by the international community and to make practical, action-oriented proposals that promote the well-being of people.

To study specific humanitarian issues that have been inadequately dealt with to date, or call for solutions in line with new realities.

To enhance public awareness of the conditions that create and perpetuate human suffering, and to strengthen efforts, at governmental and non-governmental level, to bring about changes that will help make the world a more humane place.

Composition of ICIHI

* Composition of ICIHI: Co-Chairmen: Sadruddin Aga Khan and Hassan bin Talal.

Members: Susanna Agnelli, Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Paulo Evaristo Arns, Mohammed Bedjaoui, Henrik Beer, Igor Blishchenko, Luis Echeverria Alvarez, Pierre Graber, Ivan Head, M. Hidayatullah, Aziza Hussein, Manfred Lachs, Robert McNamara, Lazar Mojsov, Mohammed Mzali, Sadako Ogata, David Owen, Wilibald Pahr, Shridath Ramphal, Ru Xin, Salim A. Salim, Leopold Senghor, Soedjatmoko, Desmond Tutu, Simone Veil and Gough Whitlam. Secretary-General: Zia Rizvi .

History of the IBHI

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1981, calling for the promotion of a "New International Humanitarian Order" (HS Res 36/136 of 14 December 1981). The following year, the General Assembly referred to the desirability of an independent body to look into the question of the proposed order. In 1983, the Assembly took note of the establishment of an Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI) composed of eminent persons ** of world renown in the humanitarian field or having wide experience of government or world affairs (GA Res. 38/961 of 16 December 1983).


"Humanitarianism is a basic orientation towards the interests and welfare of people. It demands that whatever detracts from human well-being must be questioned, regardless of its effects on economic growth, political power or the stability of a certain order.

" ICIHI Final Report, 1987

During its mandate (1983-1987), the Commission produced a series of sectoral reports which were later published in book form. These reports touched upon a wide range of subjects of a humanitarian nature such as famine, deforestation, desertification, street children, indigenous people, refugees, modern wars and disappearances. These reports of the Commission have appeared in over 60 editions in major languages of the world. In addition, a series of TV documentaries have been produced on selected humanitarian issues.

The Independent Commission's Final Report entitled "Winning the Human Race?" was made available to the General Assembly which took note of it with appreciation and drew the attention of Governments as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to its recommendations (GA Res. 42/120 of 7 Dec. 1987).

The Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues (IBHI) was established in 1988 as the successor body to the Commission. The Bureau is continuing the research and publication work initiated by the Commission. It deals both with "issues" and 'Situations" requiring attention in the humanitarian field. Its reports are intended not only to help policy-makers and the general public, but also to serve as the building blocks for a new international humanitarian order as foreseen by the UN General Assembly.

In line with its objectives, the work of the Bureau is focused on:

Action-oriented research on humanitarian issues of concern to the international community.

Analysis of situations leading, actually or potentially, to large-scale human suffering, for the purpose of prevention or containment of man-made disasters.

Training relating to humanitarian issues, including emergency preparedness and response, of nationals within and outside government structures in disaster-prone countries.

Many of the eminent persons associated with the work of the Commission have remained involved in the work of the Independent Bureau. Likewise, most of the experts used since 1984 for various reports remain available for the continuing work of the Bureau.


The Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues is composed of an International Council, an Executive Committee, and a Central secretariat located in the Geneva area with liaison offices in several countries and regions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Georgia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan).

IBHI in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The project to be implemented during 1996 by the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues covers all parts of the country and is the continuation and expansion of the 1995 project supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It seeks to reinforce programme management skills among national NGO and Government staff working in the Humanitarian field. The project is a part of the over-all international effort relating to reconstruction and consolidation of peace and focuses essentially on humanitarian problems and their solutions with special reference to refugees and displaced persons and their voluntary return home.

The principal activities by the project include:

Formation of local NGOs and promotion of local self-management.

Provision of technical advice and support to existing local NGOs.

Information dissemination and advocacy.

Advisory services in the context of peace-building and reconstruction efforts.

Its main purpose is to promote greater local involvement in the direct planning and implementation of humanitarian assistance activities in the over-all context of normalization of life and reconstruction.

To read more:
http://www.elhassan.org/Public/English.aspx?Site_ID=1&Page_ID=788&RM=125

1 comment:

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