Skip to main content

Ireland and the World Humanitarian Summit

Aid Effectiveness, News/feature, Turkey, 2016
World Humanitarian Summit - 2016

The World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Turkey May 23-24 2016

1) What is the World Humanitarian Summit?

On May 23rd and 24th 2016, world leaders will convene in Istanbul, Turkey, for the World Humanitarian Summit. The Summit has been called by the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to seek urgent and bold solutions to address increasing humanitarian needs globally.

Leaders will be asked to make commitments and announce concrete actions to prevent and reduce human suffering in the face of unprecedented needs worldwide. Leaders will be asked to endorse the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity – which outlines the action needed to reaffirm our commitment to humanity and chart a course for change.

2) Why is it so important?

In 2015, the international community showed that it is possible to come together in order to address global challenges such as poverty and climate change. The World Humanitarian Summit provides an opportunity to build on these achievements and ensure that we can better meet the needs of the 125 million people currently in need of humanitarian assistance.

We are confronting some of the greatest challenges of our time. The number, scale and intensity of emergencies continue to increase and the number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled in the past decade. Across the world, more than 60 million people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of conflict or natural disaster. The humanitarian system, in its current form, is struggling to cope.

3) Why is Ireland attending?

Ireland will be represented at the World Humanitarian Summit by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, as well as the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Joe McHugh, T.D., an indication of Ireland’s strong commitment and humanitarian tradition.

Leaders will be asked to make commitments and announce concrete actions to prevent and reduce human suffering in the face of unprecedented needs worldwide.

At the Summit, the President will endorse the core responsibilities and commitments laid out in the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity on behalf of Ireland. He has also been invited to speak on the importance gender equality in humanitarian action and need to change how we work to move from delivery of aid to building resilience.

He will also announce additional commitments which outline how Ireland will make progress against the Agenda for Humanity including through political leadership and financing of humanitarian action in order to save lives and alleviate suffering of those affected by crises.

4) How has Ireland prepared for the World Humanitarian Summit?

Ireland’s active support for the World Humanitarian Summit has been preceded by a two-year domestic consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders in Ireland involved in humanitarian action.

An Irish Humanitarian Summit was held in July 2015, which was addressed by the President of Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State for Development and attended by over 230 people from non-governmental organisations, diaspora networks in Ireland, higher education and research institutions, private sector companies, Government departments, the Defence Forces and the United Nations.

Find out more about the World Humanitarian Summit