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Disaster relief in case of technical and other disasters

31-12-1986 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 256

25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23 to 31 October 1986, Resolution 21

The Twenty-fifth International Red Cross Conference,

 recognizing that technological developments in many areas constantly progress and that many States carry out nuclear activities,

 being aware that in the development and application of existing and new technologies it cannot be totally excluded that at any time technical incidents can turn suddenly into serious accidents and disasters, which directly endanger the health and life of a great number of people,

 recognizing that damaging situations of this kind can also occur below the threshold of disaster, which require immediate and preventive action on the part of all agencies called upon to help,

 knowing that the effects of such serious accidents and disasters can independently of where they occurred in one State-spread to the territory of other States,

 being aware that these kinds of accidents and disasters require special and additional measures of prevention, assistance and mutual information

and support, which must be planned and carried out both by States and by international organizations,

 expressing the wish that to this end international co-operation may be reinforced and intensified,

 acknowledging the fact that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is more especially obliged to provide mutual assistance and support in any kind of disaster,

 recognizing the necessity for the Movement to address itself more comprehensively and more intensively than up to now to the issue of possible dangers and consequences of technical and other disasters with a view to more adequate and improved assistance,

 noting with gratitude that the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna recently adopted a Convention on early notification of nuclear accidents and on mutual assistance,

 1. requests governments to intensify future international co-operation for the safe development and application of new technologies and to undertake efforts to conclude further bilateral and multilateral agreements on mutual, timely and comprehensiv e information as well as on measures for mutual assistance,

 2. recommends to governments and international organizations when concluding such agreements and conventions also to take proper account of the capacity of their corresponding National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of the entire Movement to participate in relief action and to include them in their information system at an early stage,

 3. further recommends to governments vigorously to support their National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their efforts to improve their capacity for assistance in this field,

 4. calls upon National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to approach their governments in the manner outlined above and to undertake efforts that promote improvement of their own capacity for assistance,

 5. encourages National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to intensify their efforts to arrive at bilateral and multilateral agreements and commitments to mutual assistance in case of major disasters of any kind,

 6. recommends that the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Henry Dunant Institute undertake a study concerning the possibilities and necessities of improved assistance from the Movement in case of technical and other disasters and that the results of this study be reported to the next International Conference,

 7. calls upon the Movement not to slacken its efforts to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their endeavour to conclude agreements for mutual assistance in case of technical disasters and all other kinds of disasters in as comprehensive a manner as possible and in the spirit of human solidarity and to carry out a regular exchange of experience.