LAST UPDATE: 02/07/2014 - The European Commission – for the first time since the establishment of the Group – has been at the steering wheel of the Donor Support Group (ODSG) of the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). A High-level Meeting took place close to Brussels to mark the end of the Commission's chairmanship and pass on the baton to Denmark, the next chair of the Group.
Further marking the conclusion of the European Commission's chair of ODSG, Turkey and Estonia announced they would be joining the group. "Both Turkey and Estonia have become significant actors in the global humanitarian aid landscape", said Commissioner Georgieva. Turkey's membership to the ODSG is of particular note with its important role in hosting the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 and Estonia is also becoming an important humanitarian donor.
Started in July 2013, the chairmanship of the ODSG has been led by the EU's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). ECHO's main priorities during its one-year term have been the improvement of OCHA's field performance in humanitarian crises and the enhancement of outreach and partnerships between the ODSG Members and other humanitarian partners. As part of the first objective, a field mission – in the Democratic Republic of Congo – was organised during ECHO's chairmanship, as well as regular consultations and meetings to discuss strategic approaches in humanitarian assistance.
For the second objective, along with an outreach mission to Mauritania, ECHO has compiled an analysis of areas of collaboration with partners and multilateral organisations, and is organising a dedicated event alongside the High-level Meeting. The Partnership event will bring together the ODSG Members and a number of partners from different global regions to find improved ways of collaboration.
The top items during the agenda of the High-level Meeting were the review of the ODSG's work plan for the next four years and the Group's new terms of reference.
The High-level Meeting and the Partnership Event are took place in Genval from 30 June to 1 July 2014.
The ODSG was established in 1998 by a small group of donors. It has since then grown and now brings together 27 top OCHA donors in a unique informal constellation, serving as a "sounding board" and a source of advice on policy, management, budgetary and financial questions. The ODSG also handles key policy issues concerning the humanitarian system and its coordination.
The previous, current and future chairs form the ODSG 'troika', which has the role of liaising on behalf of donors with OCHA throughout the year. Currently the troika is made up of Germany, ECHO and Denmark and the following 'troika' will be comprised of ECHO, Denmark and Sweden.
Originally published on 30/6/2014