Commitment to Action
World Humanitarian Summit
Transcending Humanitarian-Development divides : Chaging People's Lives : From Delivering Aid to Ending Need

1. We commit to implementing a “new way of working” that meets people’s immediate humanitarian needs while at the same time reducing risk and vulnerability as proposed in the SG’s report “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility” (paragraphs 124-142) and its Agenda for Humanity, as a joint commitment towards core commitment 1 at the High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable at the World Humanitarian Summit on “Changing Peoples’ Lives: From Delivering Aid to Ending Need.”

2. The 2030 Agenda’s commitment to leaving no-one behind, reaching the furthest behind first and its specific references to people affected by humanitarian emergencies, creates a common results framework under which both humanitarian and development actors can work together to ensure the safety, dignity and ability to thrive of the most vulnerable. The 2030 Agenda places risk and vulnerability at its core. Managing crisis risks and reducing vulnerability is as much a humanitarian imperative to save lives more effectively as it is a development necessity to ensure progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the more than 125 million people affected by humanitarian crises today. This is timely, given that the growing trend of repeated and protracted crises is likely to continue.

3. The Secretary-General’s report “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility” recognizes the historic opportunity of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the convening of the World Humanitarian Summit and elaborates a new way of working, in support of national and local efforts, and with a diverse set of actors defined by: • Working to collective outcomes across the UN system and the broader humanitarian and development community, including Multilateral Development Banks; • Working over multi-year timeframes, recognizing the reality of protracted crises and aiming to contribute to longer-term development gains, in the logic of the SDGs; • Working collaboratively based on comparative advantage of diverse actors (as relevant to the context).

4. There will always be situations where humanitarian responses will be necessary to save lives with the utmost sense of urgency and based on rapid and unimpeded access and the humanitarian principles. In politically contested and violent conditions of armed conflict, nothing should undermine the commitment to principled humanitarian action. However better joined up humanitariandevelopment planning and programming processes will deliver better outcomes for people by moving beyond meeting their needs in the short term to reducing them over time.

5. The new way of working is not about shifting funding from development to humanitarian programmes or from humanitarian to development actors — rather, it is about: • Using resources and capabilities better, improving SDG outcomes for people in situations of risk, vulnerability and crisis and shrinking humanitarian needs over the long-term; and • Galvanising new partnerships and collaboration – such as through the private sector, local actors or Multilateral Development Banks - that provide additional capabilities and resources in support of achieving collective and measurable outcomes for people and communities.

6. In order to deliver on this new way of working, we will operationalize the SecretaryGeneral’s call, including by: • Conceptually, developing a shared understanding of sustainability, vulnerability, and resilience; • Operationally, implementing key changes after the WHS, where contexts enable the putting in place of: (i) Pooled and combined data, analysis and information; (ii) Better joined up planning and programming processes; (iii) Effective leadership for collective outcomes; and (iv) Financing modalities to support collective outcomes.

7. The WHS is the beginning of the shift towards this new approach. We recognize the need to move quickly after the Summit to elaborate the necessary steps and start applying this new way of working in the field. We commit to jointly move forward and agree at the WHS on specific follow-up actions regarding analysis, planning/programming, leadership and financing, so that the commitment to “change peoples’ lives” becomes a reality.

Signed on 23 May 2016 at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul by*:

  • - Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • - Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • - Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
  • - Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
  • - Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • - José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization
  • - Anthony Lake, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund
  • - Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
  • - Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • - *and endorsed by the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration