UN agencies and international organisations with which Ireland works closely and which are headquartered in Geneva include the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Confederation of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The donor relations section of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is also based in Geneva.
The Permanent Mission manages Ireland’s relationship with these agencies, all of which are supported by Ireland through the Irish Aid programme. A significant proportion of Ireland’s response to international humanitarian emergencies is channelled through the UN and Red Cross systems. The organisations mentioned channel financial contributions from member states, including Ireland, to countries which are experiencing a crisis due to conflict or a natural disaster. Through its interaction with these agencies, the Mission monitors the global humanitarian situation in order to ensure that Ireland can respond to emerging needs in an effective and timely manner, and works to shape the policies and strategies of the humanitarian agencies Ireland supports. The Mission seeks to ensure that key Irish concerns are reflected in the work programmes and implementing actions of the humanitarian agencies. The Mission works in tandem with other donors, UN agencies and NGOs to promote effective ongoing reform of the international humanitarian system in order to enable a more coordinated and efficient response to humanitarian emergencies worldwide.
Irish officials participate in committees which oversee the strategy, spending and effectiveness of these organisations. Ireland participates in different working groups and committees which seek to ensure that humanitarian assistance (including assistance from Ireland) is provided in a timely and effective manner to major humanitarian crises around the world. Ireland supports an active role for all UN partners in preventing and responding to humanitarian emergencies. The Mission also participates actively in a donor support group for the UNOCHA as well as a humanitarian liaison working group and a group on Good Humanitarian Donorship.