As a six-year-old boy, Ban Ki-moon and his family were forced to flee their home during the Korean war. Inspired by his experiences, the now UN Secretary-General has convened the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit as a call for global action to alleviate the suffering of the 125 million people around the world affected by conflicts and disasters. To chart a way forward, he called for an “Agenda for Humanity” based on five core responsibilities, calling on global leaders to stand up for our common humanity and reduce human suffering.
In a series of five blogs, we will explore the core responsibilities through the eyes of those who need them the most: affected people.
Our leaders have the power to close the gap between the world that is and the world that should be. Visit impossiblechoices.org and ask your leader to come to the World Humanitarian Summit and take bold action to stop human suffering.
Core Responsibility 1: Prevent and end conflict
Unless political leaders show the will to prevent and end crises, little will change for the millions of children, women and men who are caught up in these crises. Leaders—including UN Security Council members—must put compassion and courage at the heart of their collective decision-making. They must analyse the risk of conflict and act early to nip conflicts in the bud. They must use all the leverage they have—political, economic and otherwise—to prevent conflicts and find solutions. And they need to put aside divisions to invest in peaceful and inclusive societies.
This is the story of Abu Mohamed, former Engineer, from Sana’a, Yemen:
“Imagine your child in front of you. He is hungry, but you are unable to feed him. He is frightened, but you are unable to protect him. The people of Yemen need help, desperately. They need the world to care and they need the international community to stop this conflict.” Abu Mohamed showed OCHA staff members around his house in Yemen. Everything had been destroyed. When asked what he needed the most, he had a straight answer: “Safety. That’s the only thing we need. Safety and protection. All the rest is not as important.”