Opening remarks by Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly at launch of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel Report on Humanitarian Financing
17 January, Dubai
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Mr Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be with you tonight at the launch of this important report.
Here in humanitarian city, we are all aware just how desperate the situation has become for the 60 million people displaced worldwide and the over 125 million people in need of assistance.
It pains me to read of the deaths of women, men and children crossing the Mediterranean, Aegean or Andaman seas.
It maddens me to learn that government authorities or others are preventing vulnerable people from getting access to basic assistance or reneging on their international commitments towards refugees.
And it frustrates me to think that, with a global economy worth over $77trillion and in a world of 1,826 billionaires, somehow, we have not been able to fill a $10 billion plus humanitarian funding gap.
Of course, the current crisis cannot be fixed by writing checks and donors must be commended for their ever-increasing generosity.
Clearly, political solutions are urgently required to on-going conflicts and violence – in Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and Yemen in particular – solutions that require real leadership from those directly and indirectly involved.
A re-think is also required on how go guarantee safe humanitarian access on how to protect internally-displaced persons and on the issue of third-country resettlement and other legal avenues to protection.
But in this ever-changing world, whether in 2016 or in 2026, the international community must possess the means to support those in greatest need of humanitarian assistance.
That is what this report on humanitarian financing is all about.
And I congratulate the Co-Chairs of the Panel, His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Shah and Her Excellency Kristalina Georgieva, together with the other Members of the Panel, for their excellent work.
The report points to a Grand Bargain which can help address the funding gap break down the barriers between development and humanitarian actors and provide us with a more effective overall humanitarian system.
The challenge now, however, is to build trust among key actors to make these solutions stick.
This is the task facing the Secretary General, his team and the rest of the humanitarian community, as we prepare for the World Humanitarian Summit in May.
But I have no doubt that it can be done.
As the Secretary General mentioned, 2015 delivered major breakthroughs in Addis, New York and Paris.
But Istanbul is, in my view, the first real test of global commitment to implementation and to the mantra of leaving no one behind.
As President of the General Assembly, this issue is at the top of my Agenda.
In November I organized two formal and informal meetings on this overall subject .
Over the coming months, I look forward to continued engagement with the Secretary General and to supporting him however I can.
I stand ready to hold briefings and meetings with member states to build momentum in advance of the Summit to press leaders into action in Istanbul itself and to take forward the Outcome of the Summit as appropriate.
Ladies and gentlemen, on this 70th anniversary of the UN, we are reminded of our responsibilities to promote global peace, protect the vulnerable and advance human rights.
With this report, the path towards a new deal on defending the world’s most vulnerable is becoming clearer.
The international community must not let this opportunity pass.
I thank you for your attention.