UN Chief Focuses on World’s First Humanitarian Summit
As part of Ban’s five-year plan, the WHS will appeal to the international community to come together to re-discover “global unity and solidarity” and end human suffering and inequality, according to the official.
“Funding figures for humanitarians have totally mushroomed up to over 600 percent of what we required ten years ago… and almost 80 percent of humanitarian staff, but also peace-keepers, and staff of special political missions are now deployed in these protracted situations” the U.N. official remarked, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, along with civil society, showed their positive response to Ban’s initiative.
Oxfam’s Humanitarian Representative, Charlotte Stemmer, said: “The humanitarian system is overwhelmed with the amount of rising needs in a world racked by crises. […] (World leaders) should not pay lip service to this, as concrete action is urgently needed. The World Humanitarian Summit’s greatest legacy would be a real commitment to change this.”
According to the new report, “the international community is increasing its response to crises while struggling to find sustainable political and security solutions to end them.”
In 2014, the economic and financial cost of conflicts was estimated to be around 14.3 trillion dollars (13.4 percent of the global economy).
The five core shared responsibilities are: One, political leadership to prevent and end conflicts. Rather than investing in humanitarian assistance, the international community should prioritize political solutions, unity, and create peaceful societies.
Two, enforcing and abiding to international laws in order to protect civilians, respect human rights, restrict the use and transfer of certain arms and ammunition, halt bombings and strengthen the global justice system.
Three, “leaving no one behind” — which is also the central theme of the U.N.’s 2030 Development agenda – and reaching out to the poorest and the most vulnerable men, women and children in war-torn areas or in case of natural disasters. It also includes the protection of women and girls and focuses on the right to education for all.
Data from the report highlights that in 2014, conflicts and violence forced around 42.500 people to flee their homes daily. This resulted in 60 million internally displaced peoples, refugees and asylum-seekers by the first half of 2015.
About half of the world’s refugee children are missing out on primary education and three quarters do not have access to secondary education, according to a UN report.
Four, changing people’s lives. Currently, nearly 1.4 billion people live in fragile situations, and figures are estimated to grow up to 1.9 billion by 2030, says the report.
Therefore, it is fundamental to develop coordinated actions to anticipate crises, reinforce local institutions and governments, build community resilience, and invest in data and risk analysis.
Five, investing in humanity. Ban highlighted the concept of “grand bargain” urging donors and national authorities to change their mindset “from funding to financing” local actors and local institutions, while increasing cost-efficiency and transparency.
Organised by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Relief (OCHA) the WHS summit offers for the first time the opportunity to reflect on a new humanitarian aid framework – explained Ban.
The summit also aims at bringing together the international community –- civil society, world leaders, private sector, peace-builders representatives, peace-keepers, and NGOs — to design new policies and set new strategies for humanitarian assistance and relief in affected countries.
In a preface to the report, Ban wrote: “I ask global leaders to come to the World Humanitarian Summit prepared to assume their responsibilities for a new era of international relations; one in which safeguarding humanity and promoting human progress drives our decision-making and collective actions.”