Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee

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Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee

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The AC/98 chronological series contains the records of the Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee (SCEPC). The SCEPC, also referred to as the Senior Committee, was established by a Council resolution of 9 November 1955 (C-M(55)100). It resulted from concerns expressed by several member countries regarding inadequate coordination of the reports of the various planning committees dealing in civil emergency planning, as well as gaps in the committee structure. Under its original Terms of Reference, the Senior Committee was to advise the Council and make recommendations on all matters pertaining to civil emergency planning; coordinate the activities of all boards, committees and working groups engaged in civil emergency planning, including guidance on issues raised by the new assumptions, i.e. that in a future war thermo-nuclear weapons would be used; coordinate their activities; transmit their reports with appropriate comments; undertake additional studies on various aspects of civil emergency as deemed necessary, and review periodically the progress made by countries in their civil emergency planning and report its findings to the Council.Each nation was to be represented by the senior official responsible for national coordination of civil emergency planning. The Secretary General or his designee was to chair the Committee. NATO Military Authorities were also invited to attend the meetings, as well as the Chairmen of the Boards, Committees and Working Groups dealing with civil emergency matters. In 1961, Council recommended that the Senior Committee delegate some of its authority to the Co-ordinating Committee (AC/134) in order to co-ordinate the work of other committees and to report directly to the Council such agreed recommendations as could not wait for action to be taken at the Senior Committee level. Following a reappraisal exercise, the Terms of Reference were modified (C-M(65)125 dated 25 November 1965) to enable the SCEPC to continue to meet in plenary session once a year but also to meet as often as necessary in "permanent session" (with the same status, powers and authority as the Senior Committee per se) so that work could be carried out on a continuous basis. It was also decided to add to the SCEPC's original TOR the task of screening all new studies undertaken by the specialized committees to ensure that they conformed with the new objectives and of approving the establishment of sub-committees, ad hoc working groups, and other bodies. Finally, it was to continue the work undertaken until then by the Co-ordinating Committee (disbanded on 8 December 1965, C-R(65)49).


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