Category Archives: WHS – Questions remaining to be answered

World Humanitarian Summit: on the road to Istanbul

Wolf-Dieter Eberwein • Expert en relations internationales, ONG et action humanitaire

Wolf-Dieter Eberwein

W.-D. Eberwein

To take the full measure of the innovation, challenges and uncertainties that surround the World Humanitarian Summit, it is necessary to retrace the process used in the different steps of its organisation. Outlining a critical history of this first genuinely global symposium dedicated to humanitarian action, Wolf-Dieter Eberwein acknowledges its inclusive nature but draws the boundaries of an enterprise that remains dependant on the political will of States. 

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A humanitarian consensus à la française

Pauline Chetcuti • Action Contre la Faim
Karine Penrose-Theis • Coordination SUD


K. Penrose-Theis


P. Chetcuti

French humanitarian NGOs could not stay aloof of the World Humanitarian Summit, where a major reorganization of the international humanitarian system will be sketched out. At Coordination SUD, the French 160-member platform for the coordination of international solidarity NGOs, certain members took the initiative of drafting a joint statement to the Secretariat of the Summit. Pauline Chetcuti and Karine Penrose-Theis review the process that led to this text that expresses a vision of humanitarian engagement à la française.

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The Summit of greater uncertainty

Gareth Price-Jones • Care


G. Price-Jones

Fear and apprehension, just as the expectations that the World Humanitarian Summit inspires are not limited to the French speaking world, let’s say to these “French doctor” NGOs, with a reputation for sharpness in international humanitarian debates, which does not necessarily afford them the position they would really deserve. Anglo-Saxon actors such as Care are not without criticism towards this event, on the verge of leading to an “enormous disappointment”. The expression is that of Gareth Price-Jones, in charge of advocacy for this historical NGO, who does not despair nonetheless that somehow the mountain will finally give birth to something else than a mouse. 

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Crossing glances from Asia and Africa towards Istanbul

Danielle Tan • Institut d’Asie Orientale (École normale supérieure Lyon, France) et Institut de recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine (Bangkok)
Mamadou Ndiaye • Office africain pour le développement et la coopération (Sénégal)


D. Tan


M. Ndiaye

If the World Humanitarian Summit generates many expectations, it also gives rise to many questions. In spite of the eight regional consultations that took place between the spring of 2014 and the summer of 2015, from Abidjan to Tokyo, tending to collect the greatest number of contributions, satisfaction is not really widespread. From the perspective of Laos and Cambodia for one and that of West Africa for the other, Danielle Tan and Mamadou Ndiaye tell us a bit what two continents, strongly concerned by humanitarian issues, retain from this process and are hoping for at the closing in Istanbul. Of course without pushing aside what may have been lost on the way. 

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Standards and finances: analysis of the report of Ban Ki-moon

Anne Héry • Handicap International
Antoine Peigney • Croix-Rouge française


A. Héry


A. Peigney

The financing for implementing humanitarian action, and the regulatory standards that govern it, no doubt represent the two stumbling blocks on which the participants in the Istanbul Summit will focus the most attention. In the following article, closely dissecting the report of Ban Ki-moon, Anne Héry and Antoine Peigney address respectively these two powerful themes, confronting the expectations of the actors with reality on the field. 

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Between hopes and fears: what Africa expects from the World Humanitarian Summit

Abdoul Azize Diallo • Croix-Rouge sénégalaise


A.A. Diallo

Africa will certainly be at the heart of the discussions in Istanbul not only because it is the region that has been the most affected by an accumulation of severe humanitarian crises, but also because local and national organizations operating across the continent have developed expertise, aroused concern, and proposed solutions. These must be addressed during the Summit. The experience of these organizations can bring substance to the reform of humanitarian aid being drafted. 

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