No recognition of ‘One Humanity’ at the World Humanitarian Forum

Published on Share the World Resources STWR, by Rajesh Makwana, June 3, 2016.

In light of the overwhelming moral imperative to share planetary resources more equitably and protect the lives of those facing humanitarian emergencies, the World Humanitarian Summit is yet another reminder of the huge gulf between government priorities and the desperate reality of the world situation … //

… The demand for humanitarian assistance is already higher than at any time since the Second World War, with many millions of people now trapped in chronic cycles of life-threatening deprivation. As emphasised in One Humanity: shared responsibility, the UN report circulated ahead of the WHS, conflict and civil war is now the primary driver of this ongoing humanitarian emergency, affecting 125 million people and accounting for 80% of all humanitarian needs. An estimated 43% of the world’s poor currently live in ‘fragile’ situations as a consequence – a figure that will increase to 62% by 2030. Across Africa, the Middles East and Europe more than 60 million refugees have made perilous journeys to escape war and persecution, and many are struggling to survive in temporary encampments without access to basic amenities. At the same time, climate change is displacing many millions more as CO2 emissions continue to spiral and disrupt the biosphere. On average, 218 million people a year are affected by natural disasters alone … //

… Weak commitments without obligation: … //

… Humanitarian aid as a substitute for justice:

Notably, Médecins Sans Frontières – a Nobel Prize winning organisation working on the frontline of crisis situations – pulled out in advance of the summit stating that they “no longer have any hope that the WHS will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response, particularly in conflict areas or epidemic situations.” A vigorous debate also ensued about whether linking humanitarian activity to the broader development framework (a central pillar of the Summit) will ultimately politicise such interventions and make providing assistance in conflict-ridden countries far more difficult – which is pertinent given the overriding need for humanitarian work to remain politically neutral and independent of government influence.

An overarching and long-standing concern is that the UN lacks the power to enforce any of the commitments made at this and previous global summits, not least to ensure that governments follow through on their regular pledges to provide additional funding for humanitarian endeavours. A footnote on a political communiqué signed by summit delegates is revealing in this respect, stipulating that “This communiqué is not legally binding and does not affect the signatories’ existing obligations under applicable international and domestic law.”

In light of the overwhelming moral imperative to share planetary resources more equitably and protect many millions of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, the WHS is yet another reminder of the unsurmountable gulf between the priorities of UN member states and the desperate reality of the world situation. For too long, policymakers have put short-term political and financial interests before the protection of human life, and they have routinely failed to pursue the diplomatic measures needed to resolve protracted global problems. Instead, the inadequate provision of humanitarian aid has been used as a substitute for reforming a global economic and political framework that exacerbates poverty, conflict and climate change – even when humanitarian activities fall far short of their stated objectives.

(full text).


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… and this – on Healthy LEO, not dated:

  • 15 Foods to never keep in the Refrigerator: Bananas, Potatoes, Onions, Avocados, Garlic, Bread, Coffee, Tomatoes, Honey, Melons, Pumpkin, Olive Oil, Basil, Peanut Butter … and Fruits (Apricots, Kiwi, Peaches, Plums and Mangoes;
  • translated into german: diese 15 Esswaren gehören NICHT in den Kühlschrank: Bananen, Kartoffeln, Zwiebeln, Avocados, Knoblauch, Brot, Kaffee, Tomaten, Honig, Melonen, Kürbis, Olivenöl, Basilikum, Erdnussbutter … und Früchte (Aprikosen, Kiwi, Pfirsich, Pflaumen, Mangos.

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