INSARAG activities are guided by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/150 of 2002 on "Strengthening the Effectiveness and Coordination of International Urban Search and Rescue Assistance" along with the INSARAG Hyogo Declaration adopted at the first INSARAG Global Meeting in 2010 held in Kobe, Japan. INSARAG is mandated to:

• Render emergency preparedness and response activities more effective and thereby save more lives, reduce suffering and minimize adverse consequences.
• Improve efficiency in cooperation among international USAR teams working in collapsed structures at a disaster site.
• Promote activities designed to improve search-and-rescue preparedness in disaster-prone countries, thereby prioritizing developing countries.
• Develop internationally accepted procedures and systems for sustained cooperation between national USAR teams operating on the international scene.
• Develop USAR procedures, guidelines and best practices, and strengthen cooperation between interested organizations during the emergency relief phase.