On 4 August 2015, PHAP hosted an online briefing and Q&A session with Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) Stephen O'Brien regarding his perspectives on the World Humanitarian Summit.

Event description

We are currently facing humanitarian needs on a massive scale. In our rapidly changing world, we must continually seek better ways to protect and assist the millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters.

An initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, managed by UN OCHA, the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May 2016 and will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises, and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.

Stephen O'Brien began in the role of USG/ERC on 1 June 2015, succeeding Valerie Amos. Apart from leading the organization that is managing the WHS and the consultation process leading up to it, he is also responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance, acting as the central focal point, globally, for governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental relief activities.

With less than a year until the Summit in Istanbul, this will be an opportunity to learn more about the new USG/ERC's views on this opportunity to reshape how humanitarian and assistance and protection is carried out.


Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien is Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) since 1 June 2015. Formerly a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Mr O'Brien brings to the position extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and advocacy, together with international leadership and management, in the coordination of collective action within the humanitarian community, notably in the fight against malaria and neglected tropical diseases, and his significant contribution to his country achieving the United Nations-endorsed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income on official development assistance.

Event host

Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)

Event supported by

This World Humanitarian Summit consultation event is made possible with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany


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Event recording (downloadable audio podcast)

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