Lofty Goals at World Humanitarian Summit, BUT Show Me the Money!

Photo Credit: UNOCHA/ UNSG Ban Ki-moon & Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the closing ceremony of the WHS

The first World Humanitarian Summit, which closed on May 24, 2016 in Istanbul, assembled 173 Member States, 55 Heads of State and Governments, some 350 private sector representatives, and over 2000 people from civil society and non-governmental organizations. Says the UNSG Ban Ki-moon, The Humanitarian Summit “has set a new course”,  to relieve the suffering of millions.

It’s mandate to:  Prevent & End Conflict, Respect Rules of War, Leave No One Behind, Working Differently to End Need, Invest in Humanity are noble goals which take money, commitment, and action to achieve.  Except for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, G7 country world leaders were not there. Collectively, they represent what could have been some of the most generous donors. Ban Ki-moon  also sited division in the Security Council. This stymies progress in war and peace as well as humanitarian challenges. The UNSG said that  “Their absence from this meeting does not provide an excuse for inaction,”

There were some watershed accomplishments:

“The Education Cannot Wait fund to help provide quality education to children and youth in crises;

A Grand Bargain that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of investment in emergency response;

The Global Preparedness Partnership to better prepare twenty of the countries that are most at risk of crisis;

The One Billion Coalition for Resilience which aims to mobilize a billion people to build safer and more stable communities worldwide.”

In addition, the summit endorsed a new charter, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Humanitarian actions need to be disability-inclusive. Says UN Special Rapporteur, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar:  “The intersection between humanitarian crises and persons with disabilities is very strong.” “Persons with disabilities are always left behind and the humanitarian response is very complicated because there is no planning to address their needs. We see that constantly – in armed conflict situations, and natural disasters.”

In a special interview with Jan Egeland,  Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and also Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Egeland fields questions why  “Humanitarian AId is ‘failing’.”  (See Full Interview)


Better coordination, collective planning, and dissemination of aid to the right people is essential.

Young-girl-Iraq                                PHOTO: OCHA/Brandon Bateman – IDP Camp, Northern Iraq


—–“Via besieged areas in Syria, and Fallujah in Iraq to Yemen, to many parts of Africa, we are failing millions of people, we are not reaching them.”

—–“At least stop assisting, aiding, giving arms, giving money to those armed groups that are systematically violating humanitarian law of armed conflict, and bombing hospitals, bombing schools, abusing women and children—that kind of behaviour we cannot continue supporting. So let’s blacklist this division and that armed group and that army and that government.  They have to behave better before they get our support.  That would be my wish.”

Sustainability and our future await. UNSG  Ban Ki-moon underscored that the “Summit is not an end point, but a turning point.”

For more stories, see: “WHS – A Common Humanity Shared Responsibilities


DiplomatArtist Category Archives: “Global Citizen

By, Susan Sacirbey – @DiplomaticallyX


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