Tag Archives: World Humanitarian Summit

OPED: United Nations Secretary-General: Outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit

A Turning Point for Humanitarian Action

At the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, more than 9,000 participants made a three-fold commitment to people in crisis all over the world. We pledged to improve our response to people caught up in natural disasters and conflicts; to empower them as the agents of their own recovery; and to summon greater political will to prevent and end the wars which are causing so much suffering.

The challenge we face is unprecedented. Around the world, 130 million people need humanitarian aid. More than 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes.  Despite their precarious conditions, there is a severe lack of funding to assist them — raising basic questions about global solidarity in a world of great wealth.

The massive extent of this challenge meant this had to be a different kind of summit. For the first time, people affected by crises worked alongside world leaders, heads of NGOs, civil society and the private sector to find solutions. This diversity of voices was an achievement in itself.

United Nations Secretary General Press Conference – Content of report on conflict-affected children ‘will not change,’ asserts Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sspeaks to the Media at Security Council stakeout on a wide range of topics

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sspeaks to the Media at Security Council stakeout on a wide range of topics 

9 June 2016 – Standing by his decision to remove the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen from his latest report on conflict-affected children, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said it was one of the most ‘painful and difficult decisions’ he has ever had to make, and that it is ‘unacceptable’ for Member States to exert undue pressure as scrutiny is necessary part of the work of the UN.

“The report describes horrors no child should have to face,” said Mr. Ban speaking to the press outside of the UN Security Council chamber, where he acknowledged that the “fierce reaction to my decision to temporarily remove the Saudi-led Coalition countries from the report’s annex.”

“At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many UN programmes. Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places would fall further into despair,” he stressed.

Insisting that he stands by the report, the UN chief added that the Organization “will assess the complaints that have been made, but the content will not change.”

“I fully understand the criticism, but I would also like to make a larger point that speaks to many political challenges we face. When UN peacekeepers come under physical attack, they deserve strong backing by the Security Council,” he stated. “When UN personnel are declared persona non grata simply for carrying out their jobs, they should be able to count on firm support from the Member States,” he said.

Mr. Ban also underlined that when a UN report comes “under fire” for raising difficult issues or documenting violations of law or human rights, Member States should defend the mechanisms and mandates that they themselves have established.

“As the Secretariat carries forward the work that is entrusted to us, I count on Member States to work constructively and maintain their commitment to the cause of this Organization,” he told reporters.

World Summit called to ‘stand up and take action’ to reduce global humanitarian need

On the eve of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, United Nations top officials called on the international community to stand up and take action for humanity.

“Disasters, both man-made and natural, are becoming more frequent, more complex and more intense. More than 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence. At this summit, humanitarian partners around the world will commit to take concrete action to address this,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

Some 5,200 participants, including 65 Heads of State and Government, 177 UN Member States, crises-affected communities, NGOs, the private sector and UN agencies will attend the Summit.

It follows an extensive global consultation with 23,000 stakeholders world-wide to identify the key humanitarian challenges of our time.

The UN Secretary-General has laid out his vision for the Summit in an Agenda for Humanity focusing on a set of core commitments: to prevent and end conflicts; uphold the norms that safeguard humanity; leave no one behind; change people’s lives – from delivering aid to ending need; and invest in humanity.

“Let us not underestimate the gravity of what lies before us in these coming days: A once in a generation opportunity to set in motion an ambitious and far-reaching agenda to change the way that we alleviate, and most importantly prevent, the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people,” said Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

More than 130 million people are in need of assistance and protection across the world today. Every year, humanitarian needs continue to grow and more people need more help for longer periods of time. This also drives up the costs of delivering life-saving assistance and protection. UN-led appeals have grown six-fold from US$3.4 billion in 2003 to nearly $21 billion today.

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In the Face of 60 Million, We Must Engage

Sixty million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of war, persecution and terrible human rights violations. This number is astonishing, isn’t it? As members of a global society with access to endless streams of media, it is easy to hear numbers and figures and to get caught up in the politics of it all. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that each number represents a living, breathing, feeling human soul. Continue reading