The World Humanitarian Summit. Triumph of Humanity?

Hans-Joachim Heintze

May 2016; 4 pages

Global Governance Spotlight 2|2016 (pdf)

In 2015, 82.5 million people in 37 countries relied on humanitarian aid (UN OCHA). This number, once again, stretched the global humanitarian system to its limits. Already in 2012, the UN Secretary-General convened the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016. The aim is to achieve an international consensus on strengthening humanitarian principles as well as on a Grand Bargain for closing the humanitarian financing gap. In our Global Governance Spotlight 2|2016, Professor Heintze describes and assesses the extensive consultations ahead of the Summit and the reports by the UN Secretary-General and the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing to the WHS. He concludes with an outlook on the potential contribution of the EU to the Summit - as one of the largest humanitarian aid donor with a wealth of operational experience.

Particularly after the contentious NATO-led intervention in Libya in 2011, established and emerging powers are pit against each other in the debate regarding intervention for the protection of individuals’ human rights. While established powers prioritize intervention and see military force as a useful tool, emerging and postcolonial states see non-intervention as a crucial guarantee of their autonomy, and favour non-military means of assistance. In the current Global Governance Spotlight Prof Dr Kai Michael Kenkel argues why the support of both, states from the Global North and South, is necessary to re-establish the legitimacy and effectiveness of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) and gives recommendations how the debate might be invigorated.

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