Mon 26 September 2016 Download Pdf

31st meeting - ECOSOC humanitarian affairs segment (27-29 June 2016) - Panel discussion: Moving beyond business as usual: Working together to reduce need, risk and vulnerability

NEAR was represented at the 31st ECOSOC Meeting in New York by Smruti Patel who was a member of the panel.

The Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 constitute a new era in national and international cooperation and provide a comprehensive, transformational, 15-year results framework for all actors to work to meet the needs of people. In line with these goals, the World Humanitarian Summit consultation process documented the widespread call for a new way of working that brings diverse actors together across mandates, sectors and institutional boundaries to deliver stronger results for people affected by crises and reducing their risk and vulnerability.

The panel discussed what it would take to implement the Secretary-General’s vision for achieving this which includes, actors working together towards collective outcomes reducing need, risk and vulnerability, over multiple years, and based on comparative advantage. In practice, this new way of working will require joined up risk, needs and capacity analysis, common problem statements, better coordinated planning and programming, empowered leadership, and coherent financing to advance the Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity.

This new way of working will require greater support and investment in local, national and regional leadership, capacity strengthening and response systems. Recognizing that the particular shape of the new way of working will be determined by context and that nothing should undermine the commitment to principled humanitarian action, the approach aims to meet immediate needs in times of crisis, while also working actively to move people out of crises and on to a path toward the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Ms. Smruti Patel expressed that in the new way of working, post WHS commitments, they must promote more equitable humanitarian response and ensure that it is people-centered for maximum results. Involving local actors in the decision making process will help in identifying the immediate needs and the best possible solution custom made to their needs making it demand driven rather than supply driven.

Ms. Patel also pointed out that a huge amount of capacity already exists within local actors and the new way should make sure that it can recognize and promote these capacities to achieve greater results.

“There’s already a large number of local capacities that are already implementing large programs and projects, but cannot or do not know how to access direct funding.”

She added that mechanisms such as pooled funds will encourage direct funding and financing as it is open to transparency and accountability at local and national levels.

“We need to support Local and National NGOs by providing equitable partnerships, staff capacities and ensuring that we are providing as much resources as possible and directly as possible. The support needs to drive them to Sustainability”, she added.

The Network and other such like entities will ensure that accountability is maintained all through the tracking and the implementation of commitments process.

The ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS) provides a unique opportunity for Member States, United Nations entities, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.

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