This coming May 23rd and 24th, over 5,000 participants are expected to attend the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Heads of state, government leaders, as well representatives from the private sector, multi-lateral organizations, youth, civil society, and the NGO community, including Caritas Internationalis, of which Development and Peace is a member, will take part in this meeting.
The summit is designed to put forward five fundamental obligations that the entire international community must fulfill:
- Global leadership to prevent and end conflict;
- Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity;
- Leave no one behind;
- Change people’s lives – from delivering aid to ending need; and
- Invest in humanity.
Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, points out that 60 million people are currently displaced by armed conflicts or natural disasters and that a total of 125 million people require assistance and support, i.e. the equivalent of more than three times the population of Canada.
For purposes of educating and raising awareness amongst Canadians ahead of the Summit, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and eight Canadian humanitarian aid and international development organizations contributed to a series of articles on various themes that will be addressed. Every two or three days between now and the opening of the Summit, a new article will be published on the website of the Huffington Post presenting a challenge that the international community will have to face. Here is the contribution of Guy Des Aulniers, Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator at Development and Peace.