Needing to come to terms with one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises since the end of World War II, the world is trying to give a coordinated response starting from Istanbul, where more than 5,000 people, including 65 Heads of State and of Governments, international and national NGOs, companies, members of the academic world, parliamentarians and social society representatives are meeting today and tomorrow at the first World Humanitarian Summit promoted by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
The Summit aims to improve the capacity to respond to humanitarian crises from a legislative, political and operating point of view. The Summit was opened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was followed by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro is attending in representation of Italy.
In parallel to the plenary session, seven Round Tables are taking place on the following topics: 1) Political leadership to prevent and end conflicts; 2) Uphold the international Norms that Safeguard Humanity; 3) Leaving No One Behind – A Commitment to Address Forced Displacement; 4) Women and Girls – Catalyzing Action to Achieve Gender Equality; 5) Natural Disasters and Climate Change – Managing Risks and Crises Differently; 6) Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation; 7) Humanitarian Financing – Investing in Humanity. These are the objectives put forward in Ban Ki-moon’s report ‘One Humanity: Shared Responsibility’, published on 9 February, which defined the “global responsibilities” in view of the Summit and contained an “Agenda for Humanity”.
Italy has highlighted some possible commitments: “reinforcing the resilience and self-sufficiency of refugees” in close cooperation with local authorities, with a focus on the crises in Syria, in the Sahel and in the Horn of Africa; focusing on education and vocational training, also in order to reduce the risk of the radicalization of youths. Moreover, Italy has a close-knitted partnership between the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Protection Agency, which was ratified in July by an Agreement for a Coordinated Response to Natural Disasters. The Summit will adopt the conclusions of the President and an action plan aimed to incorporate the commitments made during the event and the individual commitments undertaken by the large majority of Member States.