Statement by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly at joint debate on sub-items (a) to (c) of: Agenda item 73 (Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations; Assistance to the Palestinian people; Special economic assistance to individual countries or regions) and Agenda item 74 (Assistance to survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, particularly orphans, widows and victims of sexual violence)
10 December 2015
Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to take the opportunity provided by today’s joint debate to address the on-going global humanitarian and refugee crisis.
The reports from the Secretary General under Item 73 demonstrate that the challenges facing the international community as we seek to address an unprecedented level of humanitarian need right across the world.
This includes challenges related to the forced displacement of over 60 million people worldwide, half of them children.
Over the past four years, the international community has responded by consistently increasing humanitarian assistance.
Countries close to global humanitarian epicentres have dealt admirably with millions of people fleeing conflict and instability.
And a number of other countries around the world have also welcomed refugees.
Yet today, the scale of the global crisis is such that as of 30 November, UN Humanitarian Response Plans are only 49% funded.
And as this week’s Global Humanitarian Review from UN OCHA shows, the humanitarian need will increase even further in 2016.
A more proportionate, comprehensive and coherent response to today’s humanitarian and refugee crisis is urgently needed.
This was the subject of an Informal Meeting of the UN General Assembly on 19 November.
Similar issues were discussed at a plenary meeting on 20 November on Agenda Item 130 which focussed on the tragedies in the Mediterranean basin and on Syrian asylum seekers.
From these meetings, it was clear that while member states remain committed to advancing a more comprehensive response, doing so will require more leadership, more action, and more resources.
In this regard, the Secretary General has laid out a road-map to enable us to address this crisis.
It includes meetings in February and March next year to address both financing and resettlement needs respectively, related to the on-going crisis in Syria.
It includes the World Humanitarian Summit next May which will be an opportunity for the world to come together around a new deal for humanitarian action.
And it includes a proposal from the Secretary General to hold a high level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, immediately prior to the General Debate in September, for which he also proposes to submit a preparatory report.
Over recent weeks, I have consulted with member states on ways to advance this proposal. In this regard, I will shortly circulate a draft procedural Decision for your consideration.
And throughout my Presidency, Excellencies, rest assured that I will remain fully engaged on the overall global humanitarian and refugee crisis.
Before concluding, let me touch briefly on Agenda Item 174.
Yesterday we marked for the first time the International Day for the Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and for the Prevention of This Crime.
Agenda Item 174 touches on an important dimension of genocide namely the assistance to survivors, particularly orphans, widows and victims of sexual violence.
As we celebrate human rights day, let us be mindful of these people and of our responsibilities to them. And let us work together to assist them to recover and to lead full and rewarding lives.
I thank you.