With the World Humanitarian Summit being held in Istanbul for the first time on May 23-24, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said that there will be many state officials and world leaders in attendance. According to information obtained from a U.N. official by Euractiv, 50 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will attend the summit with 110 countries reportedly sending a delegation. The summit will be held under the chairmanship of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and will address humanitarian problems while bringing world leaders together to agree on the practical steps needed to move forward.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: "The World Humanitarian Summit will provide a vital platform to address the challenges burdening the humanitarian system," adding that, in addition to "responding to recurrent and protracted crises and waves of displacement, other pressing issues such as ensuring sustainable, reliable and predictable humanitarian financing will be examined." Speaking to the media on Monday at a press conference, Bilgiç said that 14 plenary sessions will be held and there will be seven round-table meetings. Pointing out that an official statement which includes the pledges to be fulfilled will be announced, Bilgiç said that 127 additional events will be arranged during the two-day event.
Although Turkey expects 5,000 participants, including diplomats, business figures, members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international agencies and representatives of communities affected by the refugee crisis, Euractiv's report indicates representation from France and Britain remains in question.
Turkey, as one of the world's leading humanitarian donors, has taken in almost 3 million refugees who fled war zones and conflict, including 2.7 million Syrian refugees, according to official statistics. Turkey's successful provision of humanitarian and emergency aid is due to the hard work of several institutions, especially the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent. Among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) allocated aid rankings, Turkey came in second with providing $2.42 billion after the U.S. but came first in terms of aid as a percentage of its gross national product (GNP).
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