World powers slammed for not joining World Humanitarian Summit

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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World powers slammed for not joining World Humanitarian Summit

In the closing speeches of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, U.N. Secretary General Ban and President Erdoğan expressed their dissatisfaction with world powers for not taking part at the summit

Turkey has shone despite global and regional problems, hosting the two-day World Humanitarian Summit, a global organization for humanitarian action of a massive size and scope in Istanbul, pioneering a tradition that will establish a platform for discussing humanitarian issues. The summit was co-chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Giving the closing speech of the summit, Erdoğan said that he hopes the summit was more than an ordinary meeting that achieves no objectives. "We can only reach rightful and lasting solutions through international cooperation," he said.

U.N. chief Ban criticized G7 countries – excluding Germany – for not taking part in the summit. "It is disappointing that some world leaders could not be at the summit, especially from G7 countries. The absence of these leaders from World Humanitarian Summit does not provide an excuse for inaction," he said.

Answering journalists' questions after his speech, Erdoğan sent a stern ultimatum to the European Union, saying: "If there will be no outcome [of the visa liberalization] as of June 30, the readmission agreement will not be ratified in Parliament."

Erdoğan also slammed the 28-nation bloc for not providing the already promised three-billion-euro financial aid. "We do not want favors, we expect honesty," he added.

During the summit, Erdoğan met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Macedonian President Gjeorge Ivanov, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, France's Minister for Ecology Segolene Royal, Qatari Prime Minister and Interior Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Turkey has shone despite global and regional problems, hosting the two-day World Humanitarian Summit, a global organization for humanitarian action of a massive size and scope in Istanbul, pioneering a tradition that will establish a platform for discussing humanitarian issues. The summit was co-chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Giving the closing speech of the summit, Erdoğan said that he hopes the summit was more than an ordinary meeting that achieves no objectives. "We can only reach rightful and lasting solutions through international cooperation," he said.

During the second day, participants from all corners of the world, including global and governmental leaders, business figures, aid organizations, nongovernmental organizations and academics, discussed at sessions titled "Natural Disasters and Climate Change – Managing Risks and Crises Differently," "Women and Girls – Catalyzing Action to Achieve Gender Equality" and "Transforming Humanitarian Action with and for Young People."

A panel titled "Victims of the war: Women and Children" was organized with the partnership of The Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) and the Municipality of Gaziantep.

First lady Emine Erdoğan also addressed the summit in a speech in a special session regarding the Turkish perspective towards humanitarian aid.

The special exhibition fair at the Istanbul Convention Center continued to be a center of attention. The convention center showcased the practical applications of innovations, new and improved products, tools, services and processes to contribute to effective humanitarian action; as well as the work, products and programs of governments, organizations, agencies, companies and other institutions in support of humanitarian aid.

The summit closed with a Concert for Humanity held at the Cemil Topuzlu Amphitheater.

That Turkey is one of the world's leading humanitarian donors is another important factor that has made hosting this kind of summit significant. Turkey has, according to official statistics, taken in almost 3 million refugees who have fled war and conflict, including 2.7 million Syrians. Turkey is currently home to the world's largest refugee population and has spent $10 billion on the refugee crisis within its borders since 2011.

While speaking at the opening session of the summit, Erdoğan said that Turkey expects other countries to more fairly share the humanitarian burden of the ongoing refugee crisis, and said the current system is not capable of dealing with this crisis. "The needs increase every day, but resources do not increase at the same pace. There are tendencies in the international community to avoid responsibility."

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 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) allocated aid rankings, Turkey came in second, 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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