Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, delivered by Cihan Sultanoglu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Baku today:
I send warm greetings to the Baku International Humanitarian Forum and to your host, His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev. I appreciated President Aliyev’s personal attendance at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul last May.
This is a timely event with some important themes. The round table on the human capital of migrants and refugees addresses an issue of great importance. The number of people displaced by conflict and violence around the world is now estimated at 65 million — the highest figure since the Second World War. Up to 25 million more are displaced every year by natural disasters and climate change.
I hope this round table will provide an opportunity for regional and global actors to contribute to the implementation of the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit and the New York Declaration for Migrants and Refugees.
Your discussions on sustainable development, diversity and inclusiveness, and on the role of the media in cross-cultural dialogue, should make a valuable contribution as we begin implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Climate change, population growth and weak political and economic systems continue to put people at risk of natural and man-made hazards in this region and around the world. We will need greater investment in sustainable development and emergency preparedness and response if we are to fulfil the promise of the World Humanitarian Summit and the Agenda for Humanity.
Around the world, some 130 million people are in humanitarian need. The solutions to the crises that have plunged these people into desperate hardship are neither simple nor quick. But, we can all show compassion, raise our voices against injustice, and work for change.