UN chief emphasizes shared responsibility in addressing humanitarian needs

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Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of the launch of his report for the World Humanitarian Summit. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The first-ever global humanitarian conference represents an opportunity to advance the belief that no one should be left behind, the UN Secretary-General told ambassadors meeting in New York on Tuesday.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the launch of his latest report, One Humanity: Shared Responsibility, published ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit set for this May in Istanbul, Turkey.

The two-day meeting will address the immense human suffering caused by armed conflict and disasters.

The UN estimates a record 60 million people fled their homes in 2015 due to war and persecution, while nearly 220 million people have been affected by disasters over the past two decades.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General called the report his Agenda for Humanity.

It is organized around five core responsibilities.

The first urges leaders to commit to preventing and ending conflict.

Countries are also asked to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, including restrictions against bombing and shelling of civilian areas.

The Istanbul summit will be an opportunity to deliver on Mr Ban's third point: that no one should be left behind. 

He also stressed the need to anticipate crises and support community resilience.

The final core responsibility calls for investment in humanity, including through smarter financing and mobilization of resources.

"Taken as a whole, the Agenda for Humanity provides the key actions and strategic shifts the world needs…Our aspirations are ambitious, but the urgency of the crises and the needs and expectations of hundreds of millions of people mean we must put this Agenda for Humanity into action. We can only do so by working together and by committing to these shared core responsibilities at the highest political level in Istanbul."

The UN chief reminded ambassadors that the international community last year adopted several agreements related to disaster-risk reduction, development financing, sustainable development and combating climate change.

He said it is now time to implement these commitments.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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