Istanbul hosts first World Humanitarian Summit

Istanbul hosts first World Humanitarian Summit

The first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul starts its work, it will last for two days.

The summit is being held on the initiative of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the organizational support of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The world is witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. This is why, for the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul," the UN report says.

The summit involves representatives of 177 countries, including 65 heads of state and governments.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered the opening speeches at the event. It is also attended by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, the 5th Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Lebanon Tammam Salam and other leaders.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin is unable to attend the humanitarian summit in Istanbul due to his busy schedule. Russian delegation at the Forum in Istanbul will be headed by the Deputy Minister for Emergencies Sergei Voronov.

Non-governmental organizations, international humanitarian structures, representatives of private sector have also been invited to participate in the summit. In total, nearly 5200 people are attending the event.

One of the main topics for discussion at the summit will be the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons. Also, the participants will discuss the issues of gender equality, financing of humanitarian initiatives, protection of international humanitarian law and a number of others.

The summit will discuss the organization of humanitarian aid in order to obtain tangible results, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien said, adding that it is not a coincidence that Istanbul was chosen as a venue to host the summit, since Turkey received the largest number of refugees.

The leaders will meet at the round table titled 'Political Leadership to Prevent and End Conflicts'.