Leaders, NGOs meet in Istanbul for first humanitarian summit

May 23, 2016 6:31 am
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Deputy President William Ruto arrives in Istanbul, Turkey for the World Humanitarian Summit/DPPS
Deputy President William Ruto arrives in Istanbul, Turkey for the World Humanitarian Summit/DPPS

, ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 23 – World leaders and aid groups meet in Istanbul on Monday for an unprecedented UN-backed humanitarian summit seeking to transform the world’s response to crises triggered by conflict and climate change.

The over 60 heads of state and government gathered for the two-day summit convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will have to defeat considerable scepticism that the event will turn into a well-intentioned but fruitless talking shop.

Overview
  • The over 60 heads of state and government gathered for the two-day summit convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will have to defeat considerable scepticism that the event will turn into a well-intentioned but fruitless talking shop.
  • With some 60 million people displaced around the world and at least 125 million requiring assistance and protection, all participants agree the need for action is more urgent than ever.
  • Host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also be keen to use the event to emphasise the contributions of his country, which is hosting some 2.7 million refugees from the Syria conflict.

With some 60 million people displaced around the world and at least 125 million requiring assistance and protection, all participants agree the need for action is more urgent than ever.

Host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also be keen to use the event to emphasise the contributions of his country, which is hosting some 2.7 million refugees from the Syria conflict.

UN officials said ahead of the meeting that the summit represented an unprecedented chance to find a new approach to crises by tackling the root causes of conflict rather than just their bloody aftermath.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set in motion an ambitious and far-reaching agenda to change the way that we alleviate and prevent the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people,” UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien said.

He said the summit differed from other such events as it was aimed not at winning financial pledges but at finding a comprehensive strategy for dealing with crises.

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