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

UN Strikes Back as Conflict Escalates in Mali
To achieve long-term stability, Mali’s leaders and partners will need to think in terms of years of reconstruction and peacebuilding.

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

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, 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

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More