23 May 2016 – On the opening day of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Forest Whitaker, called on individuals, governments and international organizations to act collectively to improve humanitarian action and invest more in development aid.
“We are facing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitude in the history of the planet,” the Academy Award-winning actor said in an interview with the UN News Centre on one of the terraces of the venue in Turkish city, which hosts the Summit through tomorrow evening.
“One of the Summit slogans is: ‘A common humanity shared responsibilities,’ and I think that’s what we need to achieve today,” said Mr. Whitaker, who is also the founder of Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, as well as one of the eminent personalities chosen by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to advocate on behalf of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Special Envoy urged the international community to build on the work of the Summit, convened by the Secretary-General to ensure that humanity – people’s safety, dignity and the right to thrive – are placed at the heart of global decision-making, to transform humanitarian aid to development assistance.
“I talked to many people