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UN Secretary-General: It is all our Responsibility to Ensure that the World Humanitarian Summit Leads to Change

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(New York, 22 September 2016): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on global leaders, civil society and international organizations to take forward major changes to address the growing human consequences of humanitarian crises, and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability in the years to come.

Presenting his roadmap for the follow-up of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, which took place in Istanbul in May this year, he called on all those involved in the Summit to uphold their commitments and transform their pledges into meaningful outcomes for the millions affected by crises.

“The Summit confirmed we cannot continue with business as usual,” the Secretary-General said. He highlighted the need to report on achievements and review progress in a high-level stocktaking meeting to take place within three to five years.

Peter Thomson, President of the 71st General Assembly said: “People living in humanitarian crises or situations of extreme risk and vulnerability are the people we pledged we would not leave behind. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development demands this of us. Therefore, implementing the SDGs requires us to deliver to such people.”

In order to facilitate transparency and showcase results, the Secretary-General launched the Agenda for Humanity online Platform for Action, Commitments and Transformation, or PACT, at www.agendaforhumanity.org. The PACT will be a dynamic space for reporting on progress and showcasing results, facilitating engagement around the Agenda for Humanity and catalyzing new partnerships.

“We must all take responsibility for making sure the outcomes of the Summit lead to tangible results on the ground for those that need it most,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien. “Our actions going forward will determine whether more people’s lives are saved, their families, homes and livelihoods protected, their risk of crises reduced and their resilience strengthened. This will be a test of our collective commitment.”

At the historic Summit in Istanbul, global leaders expressed their support for the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity with five core responsibilities that can serve as a framework to guide the changes that are needed to alleviate suffering, reduce risk and lessen vulnerability on a global scale. Governments, humanitarian and development organizations, civil society, businesses and other stakeholders made over 3,000 commitments to action to achieve the Agenda’s five core responsibilities.

Earlier this week, leaders at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants affirmed the need for new approaches and greater responsibility-sharing for refugees, building on one of the key outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit, which generated hundreds of commitments to ensure that refugees, migrants and internally displaced people are not left behind.

The Summit generated a groundswell of commitments around major themes including improving gender equality and ending gender-based and sexual violence, finding a new way of working across humanitarian and development organizations to meet humanitarian needs and reduce needs over the longer-term, and increasing the role of local responders in humanitarian preparedness, leadership and decision-making. Governments and organizations participating at the Summit also recognized need for political solutions to prevent and end crises and for greater action to end and prevent violations of international humanitarian law. Many new initiatives and partnerships were also launched during the two-day event, including the Grand Bargain, an innovative new deal to increase financial efficiency and effectiveness.

A summary analysis of all the commitments and initiatives made at the Summit is available here: http://bit.ly/whs_commitments. Details on all commitments can be found at www.agendaforhumanity.org

Media contact:
Breanna Ridsdel, ridsdel@un.org
Office: +1 212 909 7824; Mobile: +1 917 783 9336

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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