The World Humanitarian Summit is an important occasion that brings together not only people from across the globe, but from across the spectrum of actors that play a role in mitigating and alleviating humanitarian crises. That is why it is important that this historical summit provides an opportunity for genuine solutions to problems affecting millions of people in need of humanitarian aid and assistance. This is especially the case where political conflicts cause humanitarian disasters. Although natural disasters destroy the lives of millions of people, political conflicts tend not only to create humanitarian needs, but are typically accompanied by grave human rights and humanitarian law violations that risk the peace and stability of entire nations and regions.
It is incumbent upon the international community, through this first-ever World Humanitarian Summit initiated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, to retake the reigns of a destabilizing world and set forth initiatives that will stop the intentional de-humanization of civilian populations, including vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and disabled, and ethnic and religious minorities. In order to achieve this goal, the international community must move beyond supporting only piece-meal solutions that address immediate humanitarian needs, but must also include support for programs that foster resilient, vibrant and free societies. Human dignity should be placed at the forefront of any priorities established by the international community.
UKSSD e. V. is a local and diaspora organization that has been active in conflict areas for five years. Our team has witnessed the failure of dialogue between parties to conflict at the local and international level on many occasions. We work with the DEMAC project, a network of diaspora civil society organizations, to promote the core principles that we have shared with the WHS this May of 2016. Part of these core principles is the recognition that UN agencies and International NGOs cannot sufficiently address humanitarian needs alone, but must work with local and diaspora organizations to fill gaps in reach, scope and quality of program delivery for populations in need. Local and diaspora organizations should be regarded as equals in the initiative to improve access to humanitarian programs. The humanitarian response system should be re-approached in order to ensure better coordinated response and partnerships that increase the delivery of vital aid and programs and put an end to human suffering. This requires a solid commitment to not only recognizing certain values and principles, but to implementing them in practice on-the-ground.
We are honored to be a part of this historic summit and hope that this event drives momentum forward to truly improving access and quality in humanitarian programs.