The future of humanitarian action.

Author:Ki-Moon, Ban

World leaders have shown what they can achieve when they work together to tackle the most daunting challenges. In 2015, they agreed to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global climate change agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, laying out an ambitious agenda and timeline for change.

We need to harness this historical momentum, through the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016 and beyond, to ensure that the rights and needs of the world's most vulnerable people guide our politics, steer our behaviour and drive our financial decisions.

The urgency is all too clear: if current demographic and conflict trends--protracted complex conflicts with a high risk of relapse, forced displacement at a record scale, urbanized conflict, growing inequality--continue, the gap between needs and response will only grow worse.

The starting point is a fundamental shift in our approach, away from crisis response and towards crisis prevention, by reducing vulnerabilities and managing risks. As a start, leaders must commit to work with greater intensity to find political solutions to end bloodshed and suffering. Conflict resolution must be our highest priority.

Further, we must put into action the ambitious promise we made as part of the 2030 Agenda: to leave no one behind and to reach those furthest behind first. This will require recalibrating the way that we conceptualize and approach vulnerability and crisis.

The 125 million people living in acute vulnerability must be at the centre of all our collective decisionmaking on peace and security, development, humanitarian actions and human rights. We must move beyond our institutional silos to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, even in places that are affected by humanitarian crisis. This will require changing the way we do business, including in the United Nations, its agencies, funds and programmes.

As we work to ensure that humanitarian needs are met in a principled manner, so we must now work with greater determination to reduce risk and vulnerability. Humanitarian and development actors will need to work towards collective outcomes, based on...

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