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World Humanitarian Summit – A new impetus to Istanbul and beyond

The head of humanitarian operations of the UN (OCHA), the British Stephen O’Brien, and the new Director of the Secretariat of the Global Humanitarian Summit, the French Antoine Gerard, are working doubly hard to prepare the Summit, to be held 23 and May 24 in Istanbul.

After an information meeting of Permanent Missions in Geneva in mid-December, Mr. Stephen O’Brien returned to Geneva on January 19, was in the evening in Davos to speak at the World Economic Forum (WEF), returned in New York Monday, January 25 to inform the Permanent Missions in New York, will be from 27 to 30 January in Addis Ababa at the African Union Summit, entitled “2016 African Year of Human Rights’ (2016 is indeed the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the two a Human Rights Covenants), will go through London on February 4 for a co-hosted conference organized by the UK, Kuwait and Norway on the Syrian crisis (“Supporting Syria & the Region”) and will return to New York to present the Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on February 9 …

The Summit, which is expected to host some 5,000 participants representing the Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Heads of humanitarian organizations and senior leaders of NGOs and civil society now appears more clearly, in both in its necessity and the seriousness of its organization (for which Turkey is making great efforts, both by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Development Cooperation (TIKA) and the Office of the Prime Minister for emergency disaster (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent).

The need for this Spring Summit is being underlined by the ongoing events and calls by politicians and humanitarian in front of successive crisis and challenge that would require more resources and also a reflexion on better use of existing resources and humanitarian aid development, and a focus on local resources.

The organization of the two-day summit in Istanbul Congress Center (“Istanbul Congress Center (ICC)”) and the Exhibition Center (“Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center (LKCC)”) adjacent to it should result in:

Some delegations, including the one of the European Union, have expressed their intention to be present on all these platforms.

Registration is open on the Summit website since Monday, January 25

The United Nations Secretary-General’s report should be published in late January and presented in New York on February 9.

The outline of this report, according to Stephen O’Brien, should focus on “Placing humanity at the center of global decision making”; “This is not just a moral imperative necessity strategic goal has to confront today’s global challenges”.

The Secretary-General will refer to the three pillars of the UN:

The Nations Secretary-General’s report should incorporate the conclusions of the following international meetings:

The Secretary-General stressed in his report the five core responsibilities that the international community should take:

Stephen O’Brien concluded both in Geneva and in New York on 19 January 25 announcing that the Secretary General of the United Nations, in annex to its report, propose an “Agenda for humanity” that summarizes the vision of the Secretary-General, will make a list of actions to be undertaken in connection with the five responsibilities that have just been mentioned and which will be developed in the Report. The “Agenda for Humanity” will provide the framework within which States and other actors can formulate a vision of action, change and mutual responsibility even beyond the Summit.

The outcomes of the Summit should in fact be taken up in a “Chair’s Summary”, as well as a “Commitments to Action Document” and finally in another report the Secretary-General to be presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York this fall.

The Istanbul Summit should be a step on the road to a comprehensive review of the humanitarian assistance both in the protection of life and dignity of those affected. The Summit should also bring a better consideration of between humanitarian and security relationships, both at local, national and international.

Learn more …

Michel Veuthey,
Deputy Permanent Observer
Mission of the Sovereign Military Ordre of Malta to the United Nation Office at Geneva

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