On May 23 and 24, 9,000 government, private sector, and civil society representatives gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, for the World Humanitarian Summit. Participants included representatives from 173 United Nations (UN) member states and 55 heads of state and government, as well as thousands from the private sector, civil society, and non-governmental organizations.
With an estimated 125 million people directly effected by conflict-related crises and natural disasters annually, the World Humanitarian Summit occurs at a time when “the need of humanitarian assistance and protection has reached levels unseen since World War II.”
The summit emphasized the five core responsibilities for humanity: prevent and end conflict, respect rules of war, leave no one behind, work differently to end need, and invest in humanity. According to the summit chair’s summary, “The inclusive, open, comprehensive, multi-stakeholder nature of the Summit has been essential to harness the skills, experience and resources required to respond to the magnitude of the challenges that confront us.”
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Gayle Smith led the U.S. delegation to the summit, which included representatives from USAID, the Departments of State and Defense, the White House, and the United States Mission to the United Nations. The U.S.’s objectives for the summit included:
- Reduce the impact of conflict on civilians, with special attention to the impact on women and girls, and re-affirm our country’s longstanding commitment to international humanitarian law;
- Strengthen the international humanitarian system, including how it is resourced, and its effectiveness in addressing needs;
- Improve coherence between humanitarian and development assistance to better address recurring and protracted crises.
For more information about the World Humanitarian Summit, please follow the links below.
World Humanitarian Summit, United Nations
Standing Up for Humanity: Committing to Action, Chair’s Summary, United Nations
Fact Sheet: World Humanitarian Summit – U.S. Government Priorities, White House