27 May 1998

NATO Secretary General to inaugurate the Euro-Atlantic
Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC)
at 1700 on 3Rd June 1998

On 29th May 1998, Foreign Ministers from 44 NATO and Partner Countries meeting in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Luxembourg, will formally establish an enhanced disaster response capability under the aegis of the EAPC.

Following this meeting, on 3rd June 1998, the NATO Secretary General, Dr. Javier Solana, will inaugurate the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). The EADRCC, which is located in the Manfred Wrner Building at NATO Headquarters, will be the focal point for the coordination of disaster relief efforts among EAPC member countries in the event of a major disaster. Attached is a Fact Sheet describing the functioning of the EADRCC.

Programme of the Ceremony

1700 Ribbon Cutting by Secretary General of NATO, Dr. Javier Solana (Manfred Wrner Building);
Full media coverage
1705 Vin d'Honneur
1720 Briefing by Mr. Herpert van Foreest, Assistant Secretary General for Infrastructure, Logistics and Civil Emergency Planning on the work of the EADRCC;
1730 Brief tour of the EADRCC facilities.

Fact Sheet

Enhanced practical cooperation in the field of
international disaster relief

The detailed report on "Enhanced Practical Cooperation in the Field of International Disaster Relief", prepared by the SCEPC with Cooperation Partners, builds upon an original proposal of the Russian Federation for Enhanced Practical Cooperation in the Field of International Disaster Relief as well as the current NATO Policy on Co-operation for Disaster Assistance in Peacetime. The two basic elements of this Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Capability are the establishment of a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU).

A small Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre will be established at NATO Headquarters, headed by the Director CEP with additional staff from a limited number of interested NATO and Partner Countries. The EADRCC will also be open to representatives from the United Nations and the NATO Military Authorities. The EADRCC will be responsible for coordinating, in close consultation with the UN-Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the response of EAPC Countries to a disaster occurring within the EAPC geographical area.

The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU) will be a non-standing, multi-national mix of national civil and military elements (qualified personnel of rescue, medical and other units; equipment and materials; assets and transport) which have been volunteered by EAPC countries. The EADRU can be deployed in case of a major natural or technological disaster in an EAPC Country upon request from the stricken country or in support of a relevant international organization. The composition and the size of this multinational EADRU will be determined by the requirements based on an international assessment of each particular disaster.

National elements will remain under national control while deployed in the stricken country as an asset of the Local Emergency Management Agency. The area of deployment of the EADRU will be limited to the EAPC member countries. In exceptional circumstances, should there be a request for assistance for a stricken non-EAPC country, political guidance will be obtained as a matter of urgency before initiating any disaster response action via the EADRCC

To ensure the effective functioning of both the EADRCC and the EADRU and in order to maximize Interoperability among national elements, appropriate training and exercises will need to be conducted on a regular basis. National action in this area will need to be supplemented by measures of international activity in order to exercise the various elements of the EADRU in working together. To enhance cooperation and synergy, UN-developed programmes and projects covering procedures on mission guidelines, regulations, training and exercises, etc. should be taken into account.

The offices of the EADRCC will be opened on the 3rd June 1998.

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