May 2016

Conflict prevention and the World Humanitarian Summit

UNHCR/P.Taggart
On 23-24 May the first World Humanitarian Summit will take place in Istanbul. Convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, it is a response to levels of human suffering and displacement not seen since the Second World War. In its Agenda for Humanity, the UN has identified five core responsibilities for those engaged in responses to this crises. The first of these is the responsibility to prevent and end conflict.
 
"Preventing and ending conflicts and building peace are recognized in the Charter of the United Nations as our first and foremost responsibility to humanity. Yet, that effort is not where our political leadership or resources are presently focused."
Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit February 2016
 
Given the scale of protracted humanitarian crises facing the international community, a step-change is imperative: in the level of political and financial investment committed to the prevention of violent conflicts and efforts to address their root causes.
"External support to the initiative, commitment and courage of those working for peace in the midst of conflict is crucial. Effective support is that which is tailored to the realities of the context, understands local capacity and opportunities." 
Jonathan Cohen, Executive Director, Conciliation Resources
 
Ahead of the Summit, Conciliation Resources has joined other peacebuilding organisations and agencies in a joint commitment to work for greater complementarity of peace, humanitarian and development actions. The ultimate collective outcome sought by The Peace Promise is to ‘end human suffering by addressing the drivers of conflict and vulnerability, and reducing subsequent humanitarian needs’. The Promise outlines five commitments towards this: 
 
Commitment 1:  the alignment and coherence of collective short-, medium- and long-term objectives simultaneously
Commitment 2: conduct context, risk or conflict analysis regularly. 
Commitment 3: develop capacities, tools and partnerships, ensure institutional learning and innovation and share information. 
Commitment 4: do no harm and ensure conflict-sensitive programming
Commitment 5: provide adequate, sustained and risk-tolerant financing. 
 
International Alert will present a collective statement on behalf of the Bond Network, of which Conciliation Resources is part, at the plenary of the World Humanitarian Summit. 

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