Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN chief Ban Ki-moon have closed the first World Humanitarian Summit, voicing disappointment there were not more high-profile leaders present.
More than 50 heads of state and government attended the two-day meeting in Istanbul, but those of the G7 were noticeably absent.
“It is a bit disappointing that some world leaders could not be here. Especially those from G7 countries, except Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. I urge their greater engagement,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
Described by some as an expensive talking shop, global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, chose to boycott the event. Other NGOs, however, were less critical.
“It has helped to raise the issue that there is a gap between the humanitarian, emergency response and developement response and that we need to find the way to bridging that gap and finding different approaches,” said Dr Julie Hall MBE, Director of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Peter Michael Egwuda from the NGO the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication added: “I think for the fact that people are sitting down to talk on issues that concern the entire universe, the humanity, the world, vulnerable people, women, those who are affected across the globe, it’s a starting point.”
According to UN estimates, at least 25 billion euros of humanitarian aid is desperately needed to help 130 million people around the world.
Euronews correspondent in Istanbul Bora Bayrakta concluded: “The first World Humanitarian Summit convened by the UN has ended. It has arguably raised more questions than answers. Will its decisions be implemented, Will what has been pledged be stuck to or will such promises remain empty?’‘