Commitment to action goal of first World Humanitarian Summit

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Stephen O'Brien. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The upcoming World Humanitarian Summit represents a chance to build the political will that will lead to action to help millions of needy people worldwide.

That's what UN Humanitarian Coordinator Stephen O'Brien told journalists in New York on Monday.

The summit is the first of its kind and is the result of three years of consultations, involving 23,000 people and more than 150 countries.

It will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 23-24 May.

Dianne Penn reports.

Global suffering is at its highest level since the Second World War, according to the UN humanitarian affairs chief.

Worldwide, 125 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 60 million have been forcibly displaced.

He added that another 218 million people have been affected by disasters each year for the past two decades.

Mr O'Brien said the World Humanitarian Summit is an opportunity to build the political will to address these challenges.

"Unlike other summits, it's not where it's deliberately designed to be a pledging conference—although, clearly, some will come with pledges and they will be warmly welcomed and received, whether they are money or kind—but it will be primarily a focus on making sure people and leaders, in particular, give a commitment to action."

It is estimated that 6,000 representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector, aid organizations, affected communities and youth, will attend the World Humanitarian Summit.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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