By Dialogo May 21, 2013 Extremely interesting article, hopefully it supports an involvement of worldwide assistance in front of the natural disaster, among the nations concerned with its population. Why don’t you mention the name of the association? That’s also good for our work and helps us more, thanks.-Alexis Montalvo It almost doesn’t say anything of what he occupied :/ please investigate more or if you know more post it please, thanks.-Alexis Montalvo:) I am requesting dialogueson prevention Natural disasters are an inescapable reality. In order to prevent and respond to these phenomena, countries in the region have organized national systems for civil protection, from which they coordinate and employ all state resources. Among these resources, the most important are the use of the Military and Security Forces under civilian control. Furthermore, virtually in all cases in recent years, local authorities have had to resort to the help of other regional countries. This led Chile to gather the many existing initiatives in the world – particularly in the Western Hemisphere – and develop a new initiative called “Information Exchange Mechanism Support Capabilities for Natural Disasters” (MICADEN). The Chilean initiative was approved during the X Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CMDA), held in October 2012 in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and it is now in the hands of Peru, the interim CMDA president. MICADEN takes into consideration the available models at global, regional and subregional levels, and creates a centralized mechanism that coordinates scattered resources. Precedents The United Nations (UN) heads the international efforts in this field. The resolution on strengthening the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance issued by the UN states that military resources should be utilized in accordance with International Law and humanitarian principles. The UN should also approve the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), mainly aimed at reinforcing the resilience of nations and communities in case of disaster. The document was a result of the Second World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Hyogo, Japan, in January 2005, and became the first plan to detail the type of assistance needed among all areas and actors in order to create a common management system to reduce disaster losses. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is responsible for civil-military coordination, and implements the guidelines for the use of foreign military and civil defense resources during disaster relief operations. At the regional level, the Organization of American States (OAS) coordinates international cooperation during disasters through the Inter-American Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR). The Declaration of San Salvador on Citizen Security in the Americas is one of the OAS documents reaffirming that states are responsible for and have the obligation to provide humanitarian assistance in order to protect the lives, integrity and dignity of people in case of natural or man-made disasters. Moreover, the OAS also emphasizes the need to strengthen regional and subregional organizations, such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC), the Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention and Relief (CAPRADE), and the Regional Humanitarian Information Network (RED HUM) for Latin America and the Caribbean. During 2012, the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), part of the OAS, approved the “Inter-American Plan for Disaster Prevention and Response, and the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.” Moreover, the institution requested the use of a mechanism to collect experiences and good practices, based on the database of the Inter-American Network for Disaster Mitigation (IAND), also from the OAS. At the subregional level, the role of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America produced the Policy on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management in Central America (PCGIR), the highest level of regional guideline in this field. Other important organizations are the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, responsible for CARICOM’s subjects; the Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention, the Conference of American Armies (CAA), the Inter-American Naval Conference (IANC), and the System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA). In cases of subregional or related to defense, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), has delegated the tasks related to this area, which are reflected within the axis of “military cooperation, humanitarian actions, and peace operations” to the South American Defense Council. The Conference of Central American Armed Forces has a Humanitarian Rescue Unit, which played an outstanding role in 2000, during the dengue outburst in Honduras; in 2001, during earthquakes in El Salvador; and in 2007, with hurricane Félix in Nicaragua. Within the Americas, there are organizations or conferences that classify the military institutions based on their similarities, constituted by the CAA, the IANC, and the SICOFAA, from which the following information was obtained, according to the topic of study: CAA emphasizes the development and distribution of the 2009 “Procedure Guide for Assistance Operations in Case of Disaster”, during the XXVIII Conference of American Armies. The IANC, on the other hand, prepares the “System of Cooperation for Inter-American Security and Humanitarian Assistance,” manual where processes for the active, timely and coordinated participation among naval members are established. With regard to SICOFAA, it highlights the “Multilateral Agreement of Military Aircraft Overflight in Humanitarian Assistance Missions in Case of Disaster,” coordinated by SICOFAA itself, in addition to the publication of its 2011 “Manual of Combined Air Operations for Humanitarian Assistance and Disasters”, where all aspects related to the coordination of air means during disaster situations are detailed. This manual was used during Exercise COOPERATION. The Initiative Reality shows that the best way to deal with a disaster is by using a cooperative mechanism, articulated at the level of the Defense Ministers of the Americas. Regarding roles and responsibilities, it was decided that administrative responsibility would be assigned to the interim secretary of the CMDA for two years in order to optimize performance, which in turn, would select a general staff coordinator to perform an initial evaluation to integrate the existing capabilities. Furthermore, each member nation should assign the respective points of contact to facilitate coordination. MICADEN was designed to facilitate direct contact between countries, organizations, and users registered in the system, where each member nation will report their support capabilities, as well as the resources they are willing to dedicate. Experiences gathered from civil and defense/existing security organizations have been used in the structural and conceptual design. It is a mechanism that recognizes and builds on the relevant work carried out, as well as the lessons learned throughout the years. MICADEN is a system that contributes to the collaboration and planning of means, while the affected nation is in charge of the operational part, according to its own system of protection. An information exchange tool was designed to make this initiative operational, integrating and relating member nations and organizations and facilitating the response to the needs of an affected country. After a disaster occurs, the national/political authority in charge of emergencies in the affected country will work along with the CMDA to coordinate the necessary support required. Once the request has been received, the interim secretary will assess the situation and contact the collaborating country or countries that are able to contribute aid to the affected nation, according to the capabilities stated in the system. The legislation of affected nations will always be respected. Once collaborating nations are contacted they will approach the affected country’s authorities directly to make the committed collaboration effective, keeping the CMDA’s interim secretary constantly informed about the results, as well as if further coordination with other nations offering support is needed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, people and units participating in support of emergency tasks must comply with the international standards accepted by the United Nations member countries regarding the use of military resources and the civil defense of foreigners in rescue operations conducted in natural disasters, as well as the guidelines for complex emergency situations. The mechanism was designed to link member nations of the CMDA in order to integrate capabilities in assisting populations affected by disasters and emergency situations. Finally, the initiative seeks to unite different structures from existing regional, subregional, or national capabilities to provide humanitarian assistance under a common criteria. Lieutenant General Jorge Robles Mella is the president of the Chilean Air Force’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he participated in the development of the Information Exchange Mechanism Support Capabilities for Natural Disasters (MICADEN), approved during the X Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, in October 2012.