The UN Secretary-General will convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in 2016. This three-year initiative is being managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The WHS aims to find new ways to address humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world and to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe.
In August, OCHA announced that the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, would step down at the end of the year. IIHA Alumna, Kristy Siegfried of IRIN, recently wrote an article about this new development, in which she provides insight to Dr. Mahmood’s inspirational leadership and the lasting mark Dr. Mahmood will leave on the WHS proceedings. The IIHA wishes IDHA Honoris Causa Recipient Dr. Mahmood all the best in her new position!
As the WHS draws closer, new initiatives include continued events and consultations, and a new blog that will provide commentary and thoughts from UN and other contributors on current crises and modern humanitarian questions. PHAP has also now made available on YouTube all consultation and discussion events in support of the WHS.
Beginning on 21 September, the WHS online global consultation will gather comments and feedback to inform the preparations for the Global Consultation in Geneva from 14-16 October 2015. Individuals interested in participating may so on the WHS website. The Global Consultation will gather around 900 high-level participants from all stakeholders in humanitarian action. Participants will include representatives from affected communities, governments, civil society, national and international NGOs, regional organizations, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the private sector and academia.