Humanitarian affairs segment

Credit: UN/Martine Perret

Since 1998, the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS) has been an essential platform for discussing the activities and issues related to strengthening the coordination and effectiveness 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 current and emerging humanitarian challenges and priority themes and share experiences and lessons learned.

The 2021 HAS is scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 June in Geneva and will be chaired by Her Excellency Pascale Baeriswyl, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations, as the ECOSOC Vice-President for the HAS.

On the basis of the ECOSOC decision agreed on 20 April, the theme for this year’s HAS is “Strengthening humanitarian assistance to face the challenges of 2021 and beyond: mobilizing respect for international humanitarian law, inclusion, gender, innovation and partnerships” (E/2021/L.14).

Three high-level panel discussions will be held during the HAS under the following themes:

  1. “Health care in times of COVID-19: a global protection agenda”
  2. “Innovation as a driver of change: the use of new and emerging technologies and humanitarian data”
  3. “Humanitarian action and climate change: advancing anticipatory approaches, strengthening resilience and enhancing collaboration in response to the climate crisis”

The informal event jointly convened by the Vice-Presidents of the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment and the HAS to discuss the transition from relief to development will be held on 22 June, under the theme “Preventing the looming risk of multiple famines and addressing rising acute food insecurity: taking action to save lives and reduce people’s needs, risks and vulnerabilities through closer humanitarian, development and peacebuilding collaboration” (E/2021/L.13).

In addition to the high-level panel discussions, the organization of the HAS will include opening and closing sessions and adoption of the annual ECOSOC humanitarian resolution. A limited number of virtual side events will be held on the margins of the HAS from 21 to 25 June.

The HAS format and participation modalities remain under review, subject to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on holding in-person meetings at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

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