Public Consultation on Humanitarian Engagements

The ICM hosted a public consultation on June 3rd on its discussion paper “Humanitarian Engagements.”

Watch the webcast:

Never before has the gap between humanitarian needs and the international capacity to deliver an adequate humanitarian response appeared greater than it does today. The ICM’s discussion paper on Humanitarian Engagements aims to identify the main reasons underlying this reality and to trigger a discussion on how the multilateral system anchored in the United Nations can better prevent and respond to humanitarian crises in the twenty-first century. Contemporary challenges in humanitarian action are threefold and relate to the international community’s capacity to (1) stem the needs arising from humanitarian crises, (2) reach the victims of these crises and deliver relief, and (3) provide for an adequate, timely, effective, and sustainable response to humanitarian needs.

The inability of the multilateral system to adjust adequately to these challenges has more likely than not contributed to the protracted and recurrent nature of many humanitarian crises and the increased strain on the international humanitarian response system. Yet, many of these challenges— both old and new— cannot be easily answered. Most of them represent tensions and dilemmas that are inherent in today’s and tomorrow’s humanitarian landscape. They need to be addressed and navigated to the best of abilities and according to the opportunities, risks, and constraints of each specific context. The paper submits a number of recommendations for the UN, its member states, and other relevant actors to tackle these tensions and dilemmas and ensure an adequate response to humanitarian needs in the 21st century.

This public consultation focused on the insights and recommendations of the discussion paper. We received feedback from members of civil society organizations, academia, member states, and the private sector, and consequently considered the feedback while making adjustments to the paper.

Mr. Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, Chief, Policy Development and Studies, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Mr. Stephane Ojeda, Deputy Permanent Representative and Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to the United Nations
Dr. Abby Stoddard, Partner, Humanitarian Outcomes

Dr. Els Debuf, Senior Adviser for Humanitarian Affairs, Independent Commission on Multilateralism