IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsHolmes: Current Humanitarian Response “Doesn’t Fit the World”

 

print print  |  share share back back

Panel Discussions - Friday, May 14, 2010

Holmes: Current Humanitarian Response “Doesn’t Fit the World”

“It’s clearer and clearer that the current model of humanitarian response doesn’t fit the world as it really exists,” said John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs during an IPI panel discussion. Mr. Holmes was referring to his organization’s lack of response to some long-term humanitarian needs.

“The model is essentially one of responding to events, to triggers, which are either natural disaster—sudden onset, slow onset—or a conflict,” he continued. “And I’m not saying we don’t need to do that. Of course we need to do that. But if we claim to be, as we do, a needs-based responsive system, then how can we easily ignore the massive humanitarian needs that are in places where there is no obvious trigger?”

The May 14th panel discussion was based on the report "Humanitarian Horizons: A Practitioners' Guide to the Future." The report, produced by The Humanitarian Horizons Project, was derived from four research papers to help humanitarian aid agencies, the UN, and other decision makers plan for the next generation’s challenges including large demographic shifts and climate change.

Mr. Holmes was joined at the table by four panelists: Dr. Peter Walker, Professor of Nutrition and Human Security and Director of the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University; Francesco Mancini, IPI Senior Fellow and Director of Research; George Rupp, CEO, International Rescue Committee; and Mark Janz, Director for Humanitarian Planning, World Vision International.

The discussion was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.

 Read transcript

The Global Observatory

Firing Blanks: The Growing Irrelevance of the UN Small Arms Process
UN momentum toward stopping illicit arms trade seems to have slowed, but national gun control laws hint at the possibility of a successful bottom-up approach.

Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.

August 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.

July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.

View More