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World Humanitarian Day 2015 - Panel Debate (Geneva Commemoration)
19 Aug 2015 -  The discussion will more particularly focus on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals reflecting the aspirations and rights of the most vulnerable people.

Designated to be observed on 19 August, the day in 2003 when 22 colleagues were killed at the United Nations office in Baghdad, World Humanitarian Day holds special significance for our United Nations family. On this day, we come together to pay tribute to colleagues who have lost their lives in humanitarian service, we celebrate the spirit of the survivors and we salute the humanitarians who bring relief to fellow human beings across the world.

This year, the Geneva World Humanitarian Day commemoration will include a debate on the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals on humanitarian work and response. The discussion will more particularly focus on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals reflecting the aspirations and rights of the most vulnerable people. A special commemoration to acknowledge humanitarian workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty will also held, followed by the Sergio Vieira de Mello Award ceremony, which will this year be presented to the Interfaith Peace Platform from the Central African Republic.

Part I

Panel debate

At its 70th Session in September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations will consider the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and appropriate implementation actions which will pave the way for international cooperation in the coming years. The panellists will reflect on how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will impact humanitarian work and response. In particular, the panel discussion will focus on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals reflecting the aspirations and rights of the most vulnerable people.

Moderator: Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum

Panellists
Mr. António Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees
Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the IFRC
Mr. Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC
Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
Ms. Nan Buzard, Executive Director, ICVA


PART 2

Commemoration and award ceremony
The commemoration will acknowledge humanitarian workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Sérgio Vieira de Mello Award will be presented to this year’s winner, the Interfaith Peace Platform from the Central African Republic. The Interfaith Peace Platform was established in June 2013, by His Excellency Mgr Dieudonné Nzapalainga (Catholic Archbishop of Bangui), Imam Oumar Kobine Layama (President of the Islamic Council in the Central African Republic) and Pastor Guerekoyame-Gbangou (President of the Evangelical Alliance of Central Africa) with the aim of promoting dialogue, peace and reconciliation among the people in the C.A.R. The platform actively seeks to promote dialogue, starting at the grassroots level, as a preventive measure against religious violence and to pursue peace across the C.A.R. Following the courageous example of the Archbishop sheltering the Imam in his own house at the risk of their own lives, churches and mosques saved tens of thousands internally displaced persons who had sought sanctuary there. The address by the three religious leaders in the Security Council about the situation in their country contributed to the authorization by the Council of a 12, 000 strong peace keeping force.

Speakers:
Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
His Excellency Mgr Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Catholic Archbishop of Bangui
Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, President of the Islamic Council in the Central African Republic
Pastor Guerekoyame-Gbangou, President of the Evangelical Alliance of Central Africa
Mr. Ian Richards, President, Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations

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