The World Humanitarian Summit
With the World Humanitarian Summit opening today (Istanbul, 23-24 May), Groupe URD has been particularly impressed by the collective preparatory work that has taken place in the last two years, such as the regional consultations that were held in Europe and Africa, and in which we played our part as a member of the network of technical experts working alongside the team preparing the Summit. The collaboration with United Nations agencies, governments, humanitarian NGOs and civil society was interesting in a number of ways. For example, it allowed us to consult civil society in countries affected by crises, to conduct numerous studies alongside operational and research organisations, to engage in dialogue with French national institutions in order to help establish the French delegation’s position, and to contribute to the drawing up of the Secretary General’s report that will be presented at the WHS.
In Istanbul, we are co-organising and participating in a side-event on Quality and Accountability on 23 May, in collaboration with the Sphere project and the CHS Alliance, and in partnership with the Swiss and Danish Ministries of Foreign Affairs. This is an opportunity to debate issues of effectiveness, quality and accountability in the light of the Core Humanitarian Standard, which aims to achieve greater coherence, by harmonizing and reinforcing a complementary quality approach.
We are also presenting the open source information management software, Sigmah, at the summit’s Innovation Marketplace. In addition, will be taking part in the side-event on supporting local stakeholders. Lastly, following on from our involvement in the discussions during the preparations for the Summit, we will be taking part in the launch of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises.
We were also involved in a number of other initiatives in the run-up to the WHS. In February 2016, during the preparations for the French National Humanitarian Conference, we were involved in drawing up France’s contribution to the Summit. And through our participation in conferences organized in Aix-en-Provence in January and Dublin in March by the NOHA network, alongside European institutions and universities involved in the humanitarian sector, we helped to reinforce the European position that will be presented at the WHS.
Lastly, on the strength of our work on humanitarian aid in urban contexts with UNHABITAT and UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), we took part in the preparations for the launch of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises in Barcelona in March.
These activities were an opportunity for us to discuss some of the humanitarian issues that are the most important to us, such as IHL, and the protection of civilian populations, humanitarian aid in urban contexts, improving disaster cycle management, resilience, aid effectiveness and the integration of the concept of quality into humanitarian action.