World summit is 'turning point' for humanitarian affairs

Faith-based entities share a critical responsibility and role in working for peace, summit told.

Young boys in Vanuatu about to eat a meal that their mother prepared by the light of a solar lamp. The lamp was provided as part of Anglican Overseas Aid's solar project, which is supported by Australian Government aid money.

PHOTO: Anglican Overseas Aid/Iuma Bani

May 27 2016The first World Humanitarian Summit was a “turning point” in the way the world works to alleviate the suffering of millions, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said as the two-day summit came to an end in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday night, the Anglican Communion News Service reports.

The event brought together 55 heads of state and governments with 350 private sector representatives and more than 2000 people from civil society and non-governmental organisations, including members of the Anglican Communion.

Mr Ban was optimistic about the outcomes of the meeting: “We have the wealth, knowledge and awareness to take better care of one another. But we need action, based on the five core responsibilities of the Agenda for Humanity,” he said.

Through a combination of plenary sessions and a host of smaller gatherings, some 1,500 commitments were made during the meeting by the participants. Some of them were included in an “outcomes document” prepared by representatives of faith communities at the summit.

“In a world where conflicts, violence, and natural disaster affect millions of people, faith-based entities share a critical responsibility and role in working for peace, both at local and national or international levels,” it said. “We facilitate sustainable behaviour and relationship changes based on faith and worldview, offering mediation and sacred space for dialogue between parties.