Disaster Management Manual
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4.3.1 International coordination and cooperation

International cooperation between intergovernmental organizations: the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC)

Safety is ensured independently, but also in close cooperation with various international organizations, the signatory and regulatory agreements of which are binding on Member States.

NATO is an example of an intergovernmental organization with shared values, a common determination to defend them and with available resources and measures that provide the capacity do so whenever and wherever necessary. NATO cooperates with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

With the need for greater solidarity in today’s security environment, NATO´s Partnership policies have been steadily extended with a view to build closer and more effective relationships with numerous countries and international institutions. This involves enhanced cooperation on civil emergency planning, including the possibility, in case of disaster situations, to request the assistance of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC), which is based at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The EADRCC was established in 1998 and is a partnership instrument open to 69 countries. Its role is limited to coordination of allied and partner nations’ assistance to each other in case of natural or technological disasters and acts as a focal point for information sharing. It works closely with the relevant United Nations (UN) and other international organizations that play a leading role in responding to disaster situations for which it also offers liaison arrangements such as between the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action (UN-OCHA) and the EU. A permanent liaison officer from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is assigned to the EADRCC staff.

Since its foundation, it has received more than 60 requests for international assistance for crises concerning earthquakes, floods, forest fires, mudslides, storms, extreme weather, pandemics, tsunamis, technological disasters, humanitarian emergencies, assistance to massive events (e.g. assistance to Greece during the Olympic Games), hurricane Katrina and Pakistan monsoon floods among others.

EADRCC can also address crisis situations in Partner countries, the wider Mediterranean region, the broader Middle East and in ‘contact countries’ such as Japan, Australia, Pakistan and China. EADRCC closely cooperates with other international organizations such as the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations (see Figure 4.3.1). These policies have put the spotlight on the major contribution to international security that strengthened cooperation can offer.

The Centre has developed state-of-art operating procedures to ensure rapid responses in emergencies and encourages participating countries to develop bilateral or multilateral arrangements to address issues such as visa regulations, border crossing requirements, transit agreements and customs clearance procedures that can delay channeling of rescue aid to a disaster location.

The EADRCC organizes regular major disaster training exercises in different participating countries designed to practice procedures, provide training for local and international participants, build up interoperability skills and capabilities and harvest the experience and lessons learned for future operations.

Figure 4.3.1 Interrelations of NATO with other international organizational bodies

Reference sources

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