UN Secretary-General asks world leaders to support first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in 2016

(New York, 26 September 2013) Representatives from some 90 Member States, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations system came together to pledge support for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, planned for 2016. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the Summit will be held in Istanbul and asked countries to help map out a humanitarian agenda for the future that is more effective and inclusive, and which addresses the significant challenges facing the world.

“Conflict and natural disasters, combined with rapid population growth, persistent poverty and climate change mean that ever more people need help every year,” said the Secretary-General. “We need to find innovative ways to make humanitarian action more effective and inclusive to respond to the challenges of the future.”

Preparations for the Summit will begin early next year with regional consultations. These will be an opportunity for Governments, humanitarian organizations, the UN, civil society, the private sector, technical experts and others to discuss four key themes: humanitarian effectiveness, reducing vulnerability and managing risk, serving the needs of people in conflict and transformation through innovation.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey will rise to the challenge and mobilize all its capabilities to offer the best possible environment for this historic gathering. Mr. Davutoğlu also stressed that Turkey, as a leading international donor, is proud to support the United Nations in building broader humanitarian partnerships. “Turkey’s strategic location at the heart of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, together with Istanbul’s convenience and highly developed infrastructure will be additional advantages for the global event.”

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator,
Valerie Amos, said, “It is clear from the statements of support that we have received today that there is a need to bring the humanitarian community together to work to find ways in which we can ensure that the voices of those most in need are heard.”

Ms. Amos thanked Member States, civil society and the private sector for their readiness to engage actively in the regional consultations in the lead-up to the Summit.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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