OFFICE DES NATIONS UNIES POUR LA COORDINATION DES AFFAIRES HUMANITAIRES (OCHA)
Palais des Nations
Avenue de la Paix 8/14
Mr Mark Lowcock
CHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
OCHA’s mandate stems from General Assembly (GA) resolution 46/182 of December 1991, which states: “The leadership role of the Secretary-General is critical and must be strengthened to ensure better preparation for, as well as rapid and coherent response to, natural disasters and other emergencies.” To this end, it also establishes the role of the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), who works with the Secretary-General and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in leading, coordinating and facilitating humanitarian assistance. OCHA is the office that provides support to the ERC and the Secretary-General to meet the leadership and coordination responsibilities charted in GA resolution 46/182.
GA resolution 46/182 assigns a clear leadership and coordination role to the ERC for international humanitarian assistance to respond to the needs of affected people. This mandate extends to affected people in internally displaced persons (IDPs) situations and was reinforced by related GA resolutions (including GA resolution 70/165). This was also formally recognized in the Secretary-General’s 1997 reform agenda, which assigned the ERC with responsibility for the overall coordination of assistance to IDPs. The GA expressed support for the reform agenda, and in subsequent resolutions it has emphasized ‘the central role of the ERC’ for coordinating the protection of and assistance to IDPs.