HUMANITARIANS LAY OUT MAJOR CHANGE AGENDA BEFORE WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT 2016
(Geneva 16 October 2015) – More than 1,000 participants from across the world today wrapped up three days of intense discussions about the future of humanitarian aid, consolidating and refining themes and actions for a major change agenda to address the world’s burgeoning humanitarian needs.
“This exercise has produced a resounding call to place people at the heart of the global agenda,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson in his address to the Global Consultation in Geneva, Switzerland, which is seen as a springboard to the World Humanitarian Summit generously hosted by Turkey on 23-24 May 2016.
“The consultations have called for leadership to carry out a transformation in how we deliver for our fellow human beings in need. We must now focus on the many useful proposals made during the consultations and arrive at a set of key recommendations for the Istanbul Summit,” Mr. Eliasson added.
Looking ahead, the Swiss Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter stressed that “the World Humanitarian Summit is an opportunity to reaffirm humanitarian values and to take real action to help those in need. It is a chance to save even more lives, and to better prevent and reduce suffering.”
The Geneva meeting explored in depth key action areas and themes which have emerged from previous consultations and presented in a synthesis report* including the dignity and security of affected people, people’s ability to withstand shocks and crises, partnerships and how to address chronically underfunded aid operations.
”The World Humanitarian Summit is our generation’s opportunity to re-inspire the world with our humanitarian ambition,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien said. “Our Summit must give a voice to the voiceless and bring their hopes and aspirations to global leaders and to all of us.”
Participants at the Global Consultation – capping eight regional consultations across the world which heard from over 20,000 people - included high-level representatives from governments, affected communities, regional organizations, civil society, national and international non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the private sector and academia.
The co-chair of the meeting, Manuel Bessler, Federal Council delegate for Swiss humanitarian aid, emphasised the importance of Geneva as the host city for this event, as it already boasts a high concentration of representatives of the humanitarian sector. Their expertise and experience will be called upon to analyse and discuss the outcomes of the foregoing discussions, he said.