UN General Assembly: Turkey announced as host of 2016 World Humanitarian Summit

25 Sept 2013, New York: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) called the Summit the "most meaningful" international event ever to be held in Turkey, and extended his thanks to the Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos (R) for choosing the country to host. Credit: OCHA/Paolo Palmero
The UN Secretary-General has called on world leaders to support the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit that will be held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016.

Representatives from some 90 Member States, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations system have pledged their support for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, planned for 2016.

At an event held during the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the Summit will be held in Istanbul,. The Summit, he said, aims to map out a humanitarian agenda for the future that is more effective and inclusive, and which addresses the significant challenges facing the world.

“Conflict and natural disasters, combined with rapid population growth, persistent poverty and climate change mean that ever more people need help every year,” said the Secretary-General. “We need to find innovative ways to make humanitarian action more effective and inclusive to respond to the challenges of the future.”

A rapidly changing world

The idea of the Summit was first raised by the Secretary-General in 2012. The current international humanitarian system was established 25 years ago. Since then, the landscape of humanitarian action has changed significantly. As well as growing humanitarian needs, there are now more organizations and groups working in humanitarian contexts than ever before. In addition, new countries are becoming donors and are offering support to neighbours.

Preparations for the Summit will begin early next year with a round of regional consultations. These will provide Governments, humanitarian organizations, the UN, civil society, the private sector, technical experts and other stakeholders the chance to discuss and shape the Summit.

The consultations will centre around four key themes that were identified during a first round of outreach. They are: humanitarian effectiveness, reducing vulnerability and managing risk, serving the needs of people in conflict, and transformation through innovation.

An event at the heart of Europe, Asia and the Middle East

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoðlu called the Summit  the "most meaningful" international event ever to be held in his country, and said Turkey would mobilize all its capabilities to offer the best possible environment for it. He also stressed that Turkey, as a leading international donor, is proud to support the United Nations in building broader humanitarian partnerships.

“Turkey’s strategic location at the heart of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, together with Istanbul’s convenience and highly developed infrastructure will be additional advantages for the global event.”

UN Humanitarian Chief, Valerie Amos, said that she was encouraged by the offers support from Member States.

“It is clear from the statements of support that we have received today that there is a need to bring the humanitarian community together to work to find ways in which we can ensure that the voices of those most in need are heard,” she said.

More>> Visit the World Humanitarian Summit website

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