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Concern CEO re-appointed to UN emergency body

Tom Arnold, the chief executive of Concern Worldwide, has been re-appointed as an advisor to the United Nations.

The CERF Fund, which aims to raise US$500 million a year, was set up to enable the UN to respond more effectively to humanitarian emergencies.

Providing guidance and advice

The CERF Advisory Group was established by the UN General Assembly in December 2005. It has been operational since March 2006, at which point Tom Arnold was appointed for a two-year term. It provides the UN Secretary General with policy guidance and expert advice on the use and impact of the Fund through the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes.  Following an independent evaluation of the Advisory Group, the Secretary General decided it should continue and a new group of 16 members, including four alternates, has been appointed. One third of the members are rotated every year. Tom has been re-appointed as an alternate and will attend the first meeting of the new Advisory Group in Geneva this week, on 19 and 20 November. He is one of three representatives of non-governmental organisations on the new group.

Promoting better partnerships

Tom commented: “I’m very pleased to be re-appointed to the CERF Advisory Group by the Secretary General. In its first two years it has played an important role in shaping how the UN can respond more effectively to humanitarian emergencies and in promoting better partnerships between the UN system and operational agencies like Concern.”

Members of the Advisory Group serve in their individual capacity and not as representatives of their countries or organisations. They include government officials from UN member states, including contributing and recipient countries, members of humanitarian non-governmental organisations, and academic experts.

To date, CERF has allocated more than US$1 billion for humanitarian aid to UN agencies and the International Organisation for Migration, to assist the most vulnerable in sudden-onset disasters and neglected emergencies. 65 countries have benefited from CERF. 93 UN member states, the Holy See, companies from the private sector and individual donors have contributed to CERF since its inception