Ban Ki-moon Calls First Ever World Humanitarian Summit


February 18, 2016

Last year, as the world came together to create the global goals, we learned that the human race is ready to work together to tackle tough issues. Climate change, poverty, the struggle for equal rights—these issues and more were laid out for the world to see, and the world stepped up by embracing the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the global goals. This commitment shows our eagerness to improve the outlook for our planet and for future generations.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledges the strides we’ve all made thus far, and proposes further action to uphold people’s safety, dignity, and the right to thrive.

He has called for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to reaffirm our commitment to humanity and chart a course for change. The summit will be held in Istanbul on May 23-24 of this year. Ahead of the summit, Ban Ki-moon has released an Agenda for Humanity, and is calling on global leaders to commit to five core responsibilities in the name of our shared humanity.

Here are the five core responsibilities are outlined as goals for the summit:

1. Global leadership to prevent and end conflict

Why a focus on conflict? 80% of all humanitarian needs are the result of conflict. Identifying conflict, preventing it, and finding solutions is our first and foremost responsibility to humanity.

2. Uphold behaviors that safeguard humanity

As wars rage we see an increasing number of civilians being deliberately or indiscriminately killed, a sign of the erosion of 150 years of international humanitarian law. Leaders must recommit to upholding the rules which protect humanity from these atrocities.

3. Leave no one behind

Empowering all—women, men, girls, and boys—to improve their situations for themselves and for those around them is in line with the global goals. Supporting refugees and migrants, ending gaps in education, and fighting to eradicate violence are all part of this effort.

4. Change people’s lives, from delivering aid to ending need

Systems for delivering humanitarian aid are working, but they need to be reinforced to work more effectively. Anticipating crises, where possible, will improve how people’s needs are met, not just during disaster but always.

5. Invest in humanity

Acting on the global goals requires political, institutional, and financial investment. From spending locally to investing in disaster preparedness, changes need to be made, and our collective investments smarter, to be in a better position to serve humanity and reach our goals.

In the words of Ban Ki-moon, “I call upon global leaders to place humanity – the concern for the dignity, safety and well-being of our citizens – at the forefront of all policies, strategies and decision-making. The World Humanitarian Summit must be for the people living on the frontline of humanity. We cannot let them down.”


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You can learn more by reviewing the Report of the United Nations Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit. Share the report on Twitter and Facebook using #ShareHumanity.

Lead photo of a peacekeeper with the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) holds a local child’s hand in Bokatolaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by the UN

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