Journalist John Owens on the psychological distance between Istanbul and neighbor Athens: “While Istanbul hosts the World Humanitarian Summit, the woes of tens of thousands of refugees stuck in limbo have remained unheard for months. ..In Greece, in particular, the asylum and relocation system – a central plank in European Union efforts to deal with the refugee crisis – is failing. It has pushed many displaced people into taking desperate measures.”
Journalist Alessandria Masi’s question of whether the summit can be effective: “On paper, the WHS seems like just what the doctor ordered in our modern, suffering global society. … [But] without Syria, Russia and Iran at the discussion tables, any solution to the Syrian crisis, particularly humanitarian aid access, seems unlikely. Saudi Arabia’s absence leaves little hope for progress on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
Migration consultant Paul Currion on the need to include IDPs in humanitarian response: “The report of the secretary-general [largely] discusses refugees rather than IDPs, and that’s when the proposals become increasingly vague.”
A majority of the civil society actors called for change at all levels of bureaucracy and within governments and the humanitarian sector.