Conflict Prevention,

Early Warning and Emergency Response

A fire truck arrives at a site where houses are on fire in the town of Sittwe in Myanmar on June 15, 2012.  (Photo © AFP)

The Secretary-General has challenged all parts of the United Nations to do “everything we can to help countries avert the outbreak of crises that take a high toll on humanity, undermining institutions and capacities to achieve peace and development.” He has also identified the human rights system as “the best prevention tool we have” and the “critical foundation” for sustaining peace.

One of the functional areas of work for the Regional Office is on human rights early warning, prevention and emergency response covering countries in both South Asia and South-East Asia. The Office has dedicated capacity to support OHCHR’s work in the region and that of the wider UN system, including UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) on early warning, preparedness, crisis response, including analysis of emerging human rights issues and trends.

Among the areas of engagement, the Office is supporting the UN in establishing human rights early warning systems and integrating human rights analysis into the UN’s strategic planning. This also involves working with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) partners on strengthening human rights in humanitarian action. The work is focused on supporting the UN to meet commitments in the UN Secretary General’s Human Rights up Front (HRuF) initiative as well as the Secretary General’s prevention agenda to strengthen system-wide prevention capacity at the regional level.