World Humanitarian Summit- Policy Brief

Policy Brief for World Humanitarian Summit

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This is a summary of the UN MGCY positions on the World Humanitarian Summit process. It outlines priorities and recommendations compiled through several online and offline consultations, including the WHS Global Youth Consultation. The full position paper can be found here.

Contextualisation, Localization & Preparedness: Affected populations, including youth, are best placed to know the needs of their local communities and constitute 90% of first responders in humanitarian crises despite their vulnerable status. International standards should be established around the principle of subsidiarity, dealing with localisation of response strategy, participatory needs assessments, preparedness planning and post-crisis delivery. Locally relevant preparedness is essential to reduce negative consequences of hazards, and requires enhanced investments and capacity building of communities, especially for local youth and vulnerable groups.

Improved Coordination & Communication: Poor communication and coordination between actors can lead to lack of timely and effective delivery, duplication of efforts, and misallocation of resources. In order for more effective stakeholder engagement, we call for a review of the UN cluster system aimed at improving stakeholder coordination and communication through enhanced engagement of modern technologies and local resources.

Continued Delivery of Essential Services:Humanitarian actions should be delivered in line with International Humanitarian Law with the ultimate objective to ensure the best possible continuation of essential social services & social protection mechanisms. Response should follow a human rights based approach ensuring aid to all affected people irrespective of age, race, nationality, socio-economic background, migratory status, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, religious belief or other status.

Humanitarian Financing:Humanitarian financing should allow for easier access to resources for appropriate local actors while promoting transparency. It should also include participatory budgeting and allocation of financial resources to ensure accountability of public and private donors and recipients. Innovative financing counter aid dependency, promote long-term sustainable resilience, and discourage activities which exacerbate underlying risk factors, such as Carbon Tax, and military expenditure. This should be done by operationalizing the Secretary-General’s five point proposal on nuclear disarmament and the setup of an interagency task force chaired by UNODA ( Office of Disarmament Affairs) to advise on reallocating resources from the military sector to sustainable development. Supplemental funding should be utilized to close the funding gap.

Innovation & Technology: Innovative practices and technologies are a fundamental tool to break paradigms that perpetuate inadequate aid & help actors to quickly adapt to crisis situations and deliver quality services. They should operate & scale within local capacities, whilst respecting socio-cultural, political, economic, and environmental contexts through a community-based assessment mechanism. This would increase aid efficiency, improve response coordination, and contribute to effective preparedness, e.g. through early warning. Social media and technology play a particularly important role in response effectiveness and broadcasting the voice of those affected.

Youth Engagement: Young people account for 50.5% of the world population. Their meaningful engagement in humanitarian policy design, implementation, monitoring and review is a prerequisite to fully reap the benefits of a revitalized humanitarian agenda. We call for an institutionalised Youth Engagement Platform within UN OCHA, to learn skills, & participate in humanitarian programs by engaging in implementation, monitoring and review at all levels through inter alia officially recognised youth led shadow reporting.

Accountability:It is crucial that a robust, multi-stakeholder ( including children and youth), peer review governance mechanism is established that feeds into the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) while exercising the full range of modalities of GA Res 67/290. This must include an assessment of the follow up actions of the WHS itself and monitoring its impact on delivery on the ground. It must also promote best practices and cross sectoral extrapolation linked to the SDGs.

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