The European Commission has adopted its position paper for the World Humanitarian Summit 2016 calling for “A global partnership towards effective humanitarian action”.
The Commission has adopted a Communication ‘Towards the World Humanitarian Summit: A global partnership for principled and effective humanitarian action’. The Communication sets out the EU’s strategic vision for reshaping humanitarian action ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. The underlying message is to build and reinforce global partnerships to advance towards the common objectives of saving lives, preventing and alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity.
“The World Humanitarian Summit takes place at a critical time as the number of people suffering from the consequences of conflicts and natural disasters is constantly increasing. Future humanitarian responses will need to adapt to new realities, so we need to be bold in our thinking and act decisively in partnership. The Summit must conclude with clear and concrete ideas to help the people who need our assistance better” said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The European Commission recommends seven action areas under two overall priorities:
Priority I (Principled humanitarian action):
- Reaffirming humanitarian values,
- Ensuring access to assistance,
- Putting protection at the heart of response.
Priority II (Effective humanitarian action):
- 4. Consensus on the basics of humanitarian effectiveness,
- 5. Subsidiarity and solidarity,
- 6. Efficient and sufficient funding,
- 7. Partnership with the development community.
The world has seen an unprecedented rise in humanitarian crises over the last 25 years. Today nearly 80 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance because of conflicts, natural disasters, and social and economic fragility. The number of forcibly displaced people reached nearly 60 million, the highest amount since World War II. The humanitarian system is being challenged to do more, for more people, and at greater cost. Given the scale of today’s crises and disasters, funding to cover humanitarian needs cannot keep up with demand, despite record contributions by donors.
To address these alarming trends, the United Nations Secretary-General has called a World Humanitarian Summit to take place on 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul. The summit presents the global community with a unique opportunity to establish an international consensus that reaffirms the principles of humanitarian aid and strengthens humanitarian action. Unlike other international summits, this one is a multi-stakeholder process involving governments, donors, implementing organisations, the private sector and representatives of affected populations who, where needed, should commit to more effective ways of working together for the common objective of saving lives and alleviating suffering. As a result, the Summit will influence the current humanitarian modus operandi to serve people in need better.
The European Union and its Member States play a leading role in global humanitarian affairs. They are not only major humanitarian donors but also key policy-setters with vast operational experience. The EU and its Member States are expected by many stakeholders to contribute to the success of the Summit.