The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is an initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon. The WHS seeks to map out a new approach to humanitarian action that is better attuned to the realities of the 21st century. The summit aims to make humanitarian action more inclusive, diverse, global, and effective. In the lead-up to the summit, regional and global discussions are taking place to identify how partners who are currently engaged in this work, but who fall outside the current definition of “humanitarian”, can be better involved. These consultations will also result in practical deliverables and help to promote the role of the private sector in humanitarian action.
The private sector has long been a major contributor to humanitarian action.
Businesses are often the first to be affected, to respond and to use their experience, skills and resources to mitigate impact. The growing role of business in crises has vast potential and far-reaching benefits and the humanitarian community has already formed innovative partnerships in a number of sectors.
Elements of humanitarian action including telecommunications, cash transfers, and logistics have strengthened emergency preparedness and response and helped to save lives in vulnerable communities. However, research confirms that although private sector actors have great interest and capacity to collaborate with the international community and national authorities, there is a pressing need to increase incentives and reduce barriers to effective engagement. The World Humanitarian Summit provides a unique opportunity to strategize with the private sector to increase collaboration so that humanitarian action addresses future challenges in the most effective way. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is therefore leading the engagement and consultation with the private sector through Business Consultations on the role of business in emergency preparedness and response.
The WHS Global Business Consultation took place on 26 June 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. It brought together 50 participants from the private sector, UN system, government, and NGOs. The consultation aimed to review the outcomes from a series of regional and thematic consultations taking place around the globe in late 2014 and early 2015, and reflect on lessons learned from public-private collaboration in recent emergencies. Recommendations, commitments and outputs from the business consultations will serve as inputs to the WHS Global Consultation in Geneva in October 2015 to ensure the inclusion of the results into the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.