UN and national partners discussed capacities to respond to emergencies
Ashgabat, 13 April 2018: The UN has hosted a round table on capacities of UN and the Government of Turkmenistan to respond to emergencies. The UN Country Team, emergency focal points from the UN Agencies and the national partners represented by the Main Department of Civil Defense and Rescue Operations of the Ministry of Defense and the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan shared information on existing resources and available tools to be used during emergencies.
Mr. Pena Ilyasov, Head of the Emergency Situations Department of the Ministry of Defense’s disaster response management body, acquainted the participants with the national system of humanitarian response in Turkmenistan. The system is governed by the Constitution of the country and relevant laws with the President of Turkmenistan chairing the Unified State System of Emergency Prevention and Response. Mr. Ilyasov also shared information on resources involved during a disaster response.
Ms. Gulnabat Dovletova, Director General of the National Red Crescent Society, presented the work of the national movement of Red Crescent in the country, the organizational structure of the National Red Crescent Society, its focus and relationship with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent. She shared information on activities related to building capacities of communities in emergencies.
While presenting the UN system of emergency response and its mechanisms, Ms. Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, drew attention of the participants to the set-up of the humanitarian response system at the global and national levels as established by the UN GA Resolution #46/182 of 1991. She informed on overall strategic directions of support of the international humanitarian community for national response measures and shared the priority actions the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator will have to take at the country level within the first 24 hours and first weeks after the emergency.
She also stressed: “It’s very important to coordinate this work to be better prepared to respond if such situations occur”.
During the meeting, the representatives from UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, IOM, WHO, FAO and UNHCR presented available tools and services, financial resources, technical networks to be engaged at emergency situations.
Ms. Zhypar Myrzanalieva, OCHA focal point for Turkmenistan, based in Kyrgyzstan, elaborated on the coordination and supporting role of OCHA in emergencies. She also guided the participants through the review of hazards and risks for Turkmenistan monitored by the UNCT since 2016. Based on the findings, the participants updated the risks matrix. The OCHA representative also presented the “Disaster Response in the Caucasus and Central Asia - A Guide to International Tools and Services”, which was shared with the participants.
In the end of the meeting, a suggestion to improve the overall strategic coordination between UN and the Government on emergency preparedness and response was discussed. All participants agreed that strengthening coordination is necessary and establishment of a joint Task Force would facilitate such coordination. The ideas expressed will serve as a basis for a legal document formalizing such interaction between the Government and UN. Draft of such document will be shared with the national partners for review in due course.
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UN Coordination Analyst