24 May 2016

Secretary-General, Addressing Closing Ceremony, Urges Action on New Crisis Prevention, Aid Distribution Promises Made at World Humanitarian Summit

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the closing ceremony of the World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul today:

This unique summit has set us on a new course.  It is not an end point, but a turning point.  I thank all of you who came to Istanbul with vision, ideas and commitment.

Governments, people affected by crisis, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, United Nations agencies and other partners came together and expressed their support for the Agenda for Humanity and its five core responsibilities.

Implementing this agenda is a necessity, if we are to enable people to live in dignity and prosperity, and fulfil the promise of last year’s landmark agreements on the Sustainable Development Agenda and climate change.

Humanitarian and development partners agreed on a new way of working aimed at reducing the need for humanitarian action by investing in resilient communities and stable societies.  Aid agencies and donor Governments committed to a “Grand Bargain” that will get more resources into the hands of people who need them, at the local and national levels.

And Governments committed to do more to prevent conflict and build peace, to uphold international humanitarian law, and live up to the promise of the Charter of the United Nations.  I hope all Member States will work at the highest level to find the political solutions that are so vital to reduce humanitarian needs around the world.

I congratulate you on the many innovative projects and initiatives that have been launched over the past two days.  Together, we launched a ground-breaking charter that places people with disabilities at the heart of humanitarian decision-making; a platform on young people in crises; and commitments to uphold the rights of women and girls in emergencies and protect them from gender-based violence.

The “Education Cannot Wait” Fund was launched with a pledge for $100 million from the Global Business Coalition for Education.  Islamic financing tools for humanitarian action — a social bond and an endowment fund — were inaugurated.

Today I am presenting a Chair’s Summary which reflects our rich discussions at this Summit.  This will be followed by a document detailing the commitments that have been made, which will also be registered on an online platform.

In September, I will report to the United Nations General Assembly on the Summit’s achievements.  I will propose ways to take our commitments forward through intergovernmental processes, interagency forums and other mechanisms.  I congratulate you all on living up to your responsibilities.  And I call on everyone, including world leaders who missed this opportunity to join us, to honour and champion the Agenda for Humanity as we implement it over the coming years.

During this Summit, I have had the privilege of talking to some of you here who have been deeply affected by crisis:  people who are enduring the conflict in South Sudan, people who lost everything to last year’s cyclone in Vanuatu, and non-governmental organization workers from Syria, who brave bombs and rockets to bring humanitarian aid to women, men and children in need.  Despite their very difficult circumstances, all these people are working hard to help their communities.

You are true humanitarian heroes.  I salute your courage and resilience.  The World Humanitarian Summit must deliver for you, and for people and communities caught up in crisis around the world.  Together, we will put people first, secure their safety, uphold their dignity and give them a chance of a better future.

For information media. Not an official record.