European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Statements on behalf of the EU and Member States during the World Humanitarian Summit

Statement for the Leaders' Segment, 23 May 2016

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia *, Montenegro *, Serbia * and Albania *, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Mr Secretary-General, thank you for convening this Summit, and for your report. We are confronted with a stark reality. Today, if people in need for humanitarian assistance were a country with a population of a 125 million, this would be the 11th largest country in the world. It would also be the fastest growing country. For us in Europe, the refugee crisis has been a harsh reminder of this reality.

We need to act now. First of all, by bringing political solutions to the conflicts at the root of humanitarian crises in the world today. But we also need a step-change in the way we address these crises.

Second, to tackle the dramatic disrespect for international humanitarian law. To protect civilians. To stop medical facilities and humanitarian workers being targeted, as recalled this month by Security Council Resolution 2286. It is crucial that here in Istanbul we commit to ensuring full implementation of the Resolution, and of IHL more broadly.

Third, to make sure we have the resources to help people affected by conflict and disasters. That means looking at broadening the donor base and at innovative sources of funding.

Fourth, to use these resources more efficiently. It means overcoming the humanitarian and development divide, not least to address the long-term displacement. It means working more effectively - with common assessment of needs, less overheads, more flexibility to deploy scarce resources where they are needed. But always with respect for the humanitarian principles. In this regard we applaud the adoption of a ''Grand Bargain'' between donors and implementing agencies.

We need strong commitments on all of these today.

Mr Secretary-General, the Summit is not the end in itself but a starting point. Let us make sure we work together to deliver for humanity.

Thank you.

 

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


Statement at the Plenary session, 24 May 2016

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia *, Montenegro *, Serbia * and Albania *, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

We thank the UN Secretary-General for convening the World Humanitarian Summit, and Turkey for hosting it. With humanitarian needs and global displacement at untenable all-time high, the Summit could not be more timely. The European Union and its Member States have supported the preparatory process and listened to voices of the affected people urgently calling for global unity and solidarity to prevent and end conflicts, address the root causes of crises, make sure no one is left behind.

We welcome the UN Secretary-General's report and we call on all actors gathered here to commit to decisive action that will turn the 'Agenda for Humanity' into a reality. The European Union and its Member States are committed to strong progress on each of the five core responsibility areas.

We confirm our commitment to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and to preventing the politicisation and instrumentalisaton of humanitarian aid. We reiterate that humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political solutions. There is a more urgent need than ever before for decisive political action to address the conflicts causing massive displacement and suffering, not least in Turkey's immediate neighbourhood.

The EU and its Member States will continue to advocate strongly and consistently for the respect of International Humanitarian Law. In a world affected by multiple conflicts, respect for IHL is essential to protect civilians and to enable humanitarian and healthcare workers to do their vital work. We welcome the recent adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 2286, and call for a concerted effort to ensure its full implementation.

We are committed to leaving no one behind, reaching those furthest behind first, and to putting people at the centre of humanitarian action while fully taking into account their specific needs and capacities of groups such as women, children, older persons and people with disabilities. The EU and its Member States are determined to tackle the multi-dimensional root causes of the current global refugee crisis. We will also implement a new development-oriented framework to address forced displacement to ensure that affected people move from aid-dependence to self-reliance. We will further invest in disaster risk reduction and resilience building.

The EU and its Member States will step up their efforts in strengthening partnerships to better assist people in need. We will engage more closely with local actors. We will ensure synergies between our humanitarian and development actions. We will intensify our actions to ensure that the international humanitarian system is able to address current and future challenges in a reliable and predictable way. We will work to make sure humanitarian action is inclusive and makes the best possible use of the comparative advantage of local, national and international actors.

The EU and its Member States welcome the report of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing and the Grand Bargain between donors and humanitarian organisations. We encourage all sides to undertake the necessary reforms to ensure sufficient and efficient funding.

We expect that the Summit will be the starting point in turning the UN Secretary-General's 'Agenda for Humanity' into a reality. The EU and its Member States call for inclusive, accountable, transparent and efficient follow-up. We commit to holding ourselves accountable and we will report on the implementation of our commitments and encourage all other stakeholders to do the same.

Thank you.

 

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Last updated
08/06/2016