South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations (UN), General Assembly adopted Resolution 57/150 “Strengthening the effectiveness and coordination of the international urban search and rescue assistance" which reaffirms various previous Resolutions including Resolution 46/182 of 19 December 1991, which contains the guiding principles for strengthening the coordination of humanitarian assistance of the UN system. The NDMC (through the Directorate: FS) is the Country Focal Point (CFP) for UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) in South Africa and as CFP, the NDMC serves as the primary link and information channel between the country and the INSARAG network, which is particularly important in response to emergencies so as to have an effective information flow between the affected country and the potential international responders.
As CFP, the Directorate is expected to:
Act as a single contact person of the government to the INSARAG Secretariat;
Ensure that national USAR teams that are envisaged to be deployed to international disaster response operations meet INSARAG standards.
Promote INSARAG methodology as defined in the UN General Assembly (GA) Resolution 57/150 of 16 December 2002 as outlined in paragraph 3.1 above;
Represent country at meetings of the respective INSARAG Regional Group, and
Act as point-of-contact for all national USAR teams – including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) teams – on INSARAG matters, and be able to endorse the application of national USAR teams for INSARAG External Classifications.
Against this background it is critical for the Directorate to participate in relevant international forums. The Directorate is also involved in cross-border engagements that seeks to ensure common strategies for managing cross-border hazards, including veldfires, dangerous goods incidents to name but a few.