Humanitarian summit must become “action summit”

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Food deliveries in Yemen
UN Photo/WHS

Over 150 Heads of State and Government gathering in Istanbul for a humanitarian summit have been told by the UN Deputy Secretary-General that they have to take responsibility for helping those people who are most in need.

The international community is meeting in the Turkish city at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, which begins on Monday.

It has been described as a "wake-up call for action."

Elena Vapnitchnaia is in Istanbul.

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit must become "the Action Summit", says the UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

On the eve of the Summit, Eliasson  gave a press conference where he underscored the need to put people at the center of humanitarian efforts and mobilize around five core principles,  including preventing conflicts, upholding humanitarian law and investing in humanitarian work. 

He says he expects commitments from the governments, which will translate into actions.

Eliasson believes "we need to have a vision and a horizon", but we also need to take concrete steps:

"We are setting the direction, but I know, we know, you know that in order to reach that goal  we have to work hard and take hundreds, maybe thousands of steps. But the good thing about having the horizon, having a mission like we have now is that we know what direction to go"

Deputy Secretary-General said that it was up to the world leaders and the international community to take responsibility and live up to the hopes and expectations of the people.

Elena Vapnitchnaia, Istanbul.

Duration: 1’11″

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