1 May 2006

Secretary-General Appoints Advisory Group for Central Emergency Response Fund

NEW YORK, 28 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General has appointed the 12 members of the Advisory Group for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).  The establishment of the Advisory Group is in conformity with General Assembly resolution 60/124 of 15 December 2005, by which the previous Central Emergency Revolving Fund was upgraded into the new response fund through the inclusion of a grant element based on voluntary contributions.

The CERF Advisory Group will provide periodic policy guidance and expert advice to the Secretary-General on the use and impact of the Fund, including on the timeliness and appropriateness of allocations and management of the CERF.  The Advisory Group will also review the Fund's performance against the objectives set by the General Assembly and assess funding levels and make recommendations regarding replenishment.  It will examine the two-year independent review of the CERF, to be initiated by the Emergency Relief Coordinator.  Based on these functions, the Advisory Group may make retrospective recommendations to the Emergency Relief Coordinator for improvement of the CERF's implementation and use.

Although nominated by Governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, each member of the Advisory Group is an independent expert in humanitarian affairs who will serve in his or her individual capacity.

The 12 members of the Advisory Group appointed today are:

-- Catherine Bragg, Director General of the Humanitarian Assistance and Peace and Security Division of the Canadian International Development Agency;

-- Barbara Carby, Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management of Jamaica;

-- P.G. Dhar Chakrabati, Executive Director of the National Institute of Disaster Management of India;

-- Ahmed El-Kholei, Professor of Urban Planning in the Department of Architecture of the University of Menolia in Egypt;

-- Marika Fahlen, Special Envoy/Advisor on the Horn of Africa for the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

-- Gregory C. Gottlieb, Acting Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance;

-- Jemilah Mahmood, President of the Malaysian Medical Relief Society;

-- Michael Mosselmans, Head of the Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department of the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom;

-- Sipho George Nene, Deputy Director-General of the Multilateral Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs of South Africa;

-- Elisabeth Kraakaas Rasmusson, Representative of the Norwegian Refugee Council (in Geneva, Switzerland;

-- Park Soo-Gil, President of the United Nations Association of the Republic of Korea; and

-- Ruud Treffers, Director General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Four alternates have also been appointed.  They are:

-- Tom Arnold, Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide;

-- Simon Mechale, Director General of the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission of Ethiopia;

-- Mati Raidma, Director General of the Estonian Rescue Board; and

-- Ronald J. Waldman, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the United States.

In total, 39 high-level candidates were nominated by Member States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.  In appointing the individual members, the Secretary-General was guided by the aim broadly to represent the humanitarian community, with eight seats assigned to candidates nominated by CERF contributors and four independent experts drawn from a range of partners and stakeholders, including Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, practitioners, academic and research institutions and the private sector.

Individual members of the Advisory Group will serve two-year terms, with a term limit of four consecutive years.  The membership will be rotated with due consideration of the need to preserve the Advisory Group's continuity; in principle, one third of the Group will rotate each year.  The chair and two vice-chairs will be elected by the Advisory Group membership for one-year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms.  The Advisory Group members do not receive remuneration for their service, but may receive travel grants and per diem expenses to attend meetings.

The first meeting of the Advisory Group is scheduled for 23 May 2006 in New York.  The Advisory Group will meet twice a year and may also be convened on an ad hoc basis on the recommendation of the Emergency Relief Coordinator to consider specific issues.

* *** *