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World Humanitarian Summit 2016

An initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, managed by UN OCHA, the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May 2016. The last global discussion on humanitarian action took place almost 25 years ago; since then, the humanitarian landscape has changed tremendously.  The Summit is expected to propose a new agenda for humanitarian action. It will bring together people affected by humanitarian crises; governments; established humanitarian and development organisations; and other humanitarian actors such as civil society organisations, businesses, militaries, academic institutions, and faith-based organisations.

In the two years leading up to the summit, extensive regional (eight) and online consultations are well underway to gather the perspectives, priorities and recommendations of all stakeholders on what must be done to make humanitarian action fit for the future. Participants of the regional and online consultations prioritise the relevant issues in their respective regions. Four major themes serve as broad categories to guide the conversations and ensuing recommendations – humanitarian effectiveness; reducing vulnerability and managing risk; transformation through innovation; and serving the needs of people in conflict. Over-arching issues and cross-cutting themes are also identified.

Throughout the consultation phase, teams of thematic experts are working to bring the results of the regional consultations together with findings from global research and policy work, identify areas of consensus and points of divergence and to translate them into clear recommendations. These experts come from a diverse range of regions, areas of expertise and organisations.  Around the common thread of building resilience to the changing nature of shocks and stresses, the WHS will also build clear linkages with concurrent global development, disaster risk reduction and climate change processes.

Towards the end of 2015 (Geneva, 14-16 October 2015,1 a thematic consultation and a global consultation meeting will be held to bring together the results of the thematic work, the online consultations and the regional consultations, into a set of concrete recommendations for the future. These recommendations will be presented in a final report of the Secretary-General and will set the agenda for the summit.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is tasked with managing the WHS, working closely with partners and key stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, UN agencies, the Red Cross / Red Crescent movement, civil society organizations, community groups, businesses and academic institutions.

There are various ways for organisations and individuals to make contributions to the Summit. For more information, visit: https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/whs_get_involved

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Reference this page

World Humanitarian Summit 2016. Field Exchange 50, August 2015. p54. www.ennonline.net/fex/50/worldhumanitariansummit2016