Humanitarian Affairs Segment

Credit: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

Since 1998, the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS) has been an essential platform for discussing the activities and issues related to strengthening the coordination of the humanitarian assistance of the United Nations. The HAS provides a key opportunity for Member States, the United Nations system, development actors, the private sector and other humanitarian partners to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.

On the basis of decisions agreed on 16 March (E/2020/L.4 and E/2020/L.5), this year's HAS took place from 9 to 11 June, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, as ECOSOC Vice-President.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the present restrictions on holding in-person meetings at the United Nations headquarters, the 2020 HAS proceeded as a fully virtual meeting.

The theme for this year’s HAS was “Reinforcing humanitarian assistance in the context of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations: taking action for people-centred solutions, strengthening effectiveness, respecting international humanitarian law and promoting the humanitarian principles” (E/2020/L.4).

Three high-level panel discussions were organized during the HAS under the following themes:

  1. Mobilizing action to improve humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons and achieve durable solutions
  2. Addressing the increasing complexity of health challenges in humanitarian contexts
  3. Improving humanitarian effectiveness through new technology and innovation: opportunities and challenges

A high-level event was also scheduled on the margins of the segment under the theme “Combating and preventing sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises”.

The event jointly convened by the Vice-Presidents of the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment and the HAS discussed the transition from relief to development, under the theme “The multidimensional and interconnected challenges in the central Sahel region: reducing needs, risks and vulnerabilities for people through closer humanitarian, development and peacebuilding collaboration” (E/2020/L.5).

A limited number of virtual side events were planned during the week of the HAS.

For more details and updates on the events taking place during the HAS, including instructions for remote participation in the virtual meetings, please visit the OCHA ECOSOC HAS website.