Date: September 17, 2020
Time: 4.30 pm to 6:30 pm
In this session, panelists noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 has exacerbated humanitarian crises worldwide. In response, participants reaffirmed their commitment to the UN “Framework for the Immediate Socio-Economic response to COVID-19”, which highlights the importance of linking and ensuring coherence between humanitarian and development responses for the purpose of saving lives, protecting people, and rebuilding societies and economies.
Participants observed that multilateral organizations, particularly WHO, should not be undermined as they work to help ensure global health security. Participants also voiced their appreciation for the active role of the UN in addressing humanitarian crises, particularly how climate change has exacerbated the humanitarian situation in various contexts around the world. In this context, the forced displacement of the Rohingya population in Myanmar was raised as a point of discussion, with participants recognizing the critical role that Bangladesh has played in the humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis.
Attention was also drawn to Bangladesh’s disaster risk reduction policies and various programs aimed at tackling humanitarian disasters. Participants also discussed the “Agenda for Humanity” and the Five-Point Plan adopted at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016. In this context, it was noted that the reform of the UN development system is expected to have positive impacts, particularly for humanitarian-development nexus programming. It was also noted that UN reform is taking root in Bangladesh, which has helped ensure that the UN’s COVID-19 response, though imperfect, has been cohesive.