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

Are Recent Prison Breaks in Nigeria Part of a Southward Expansion by Boko Haram?
Whoever is behind them, these prison breaks signal that Nigeria’s authorities are struggling to maintain the rule of law, not just in the far northeast, but also in the Middle Belt and the southwest.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
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

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

December 02, 2014
Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict: From Concept to Norm
Five years after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1894, the concept of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (PoC) has become a widely accepted norm at the UN, featuring more and more in Council mandates and becoming a cornerstone of UN missions on the ground.

November 27, 2014
Dialogue on Multilateralism Continues in Geneva
The Geneva launch of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) took place on November 27th in the Palais de Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva which used to be the seat of the League of Nations.

View More