Resolution on Strengthening the Global Response to Humanitarian Crises


24th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF)
Vancouver, Canada January 17-21, 2016

Resolution on Strengthening the Global Response to Humanitarian Crises


(Sponsored by Canada)

The 24th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum;

Underscoring that the overall number of people around the world who are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection has nearly doubled in the past decade;

Concerned that many of today’s armed conflicts are characterized by widespread brutality, as well as a disregard for human rights and basic rules of international humanitarian law;

Considering that an estimated 60 million people – half of whom are children – have been forced from their homes as a result of conflict and violence, a level of global displacement not seen since the Second World War;

Underlining the large-scale, complex and far-reaching nature of many contemporary crises, and the protracted situations of displacement that frequently result from them;

Mindful that, in the Asia-Pacific region, humanitarian crises often arise because of natural disasters, which are increasingly frequent and severe;

Drawing attention to emerging humanitarian risks, such as those that may result from climate change and environmental degradation, resource scarcity, pandemics, rapid and unmanaged urbanization, and mass migration;

Recognizing the instrumental role of international, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in assisting people affected by crises;

Aware of international, regional and national efforts to strengthen the impact of humanitarian assistance, and to improve the coordination of that assistance with reconstruction and development activities;

Cognizant that targeted efforts to strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions can help to enable them to withstand, adapt to and recover quickly from crises;

Reiterating that humanitarian actions must take into account the needs of vulnerable groups, including women and girls, children and youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, minorities and the poor;

Underscoring that women and girls are disproportionately affected by crises, and that humanitarian action must be designed in a way that empowers women as equal partners and leaders;

Determined to ensure that protection is prioritized in all humanitarian settings, includingwith respect to the prevention of all forms of sexual- and gender-based violence, therisk of which is especially acute in the context of migration, and to ensure that victims have access to necessary medical, legal and psychosocial services;

Acknowledging the financial contributions made by governments – including those in the Asia-Pacific region – in response to international humanitarian appeals;

Concerned about the significant proportion of humanitarian needs that remain unmet around the world;

Stressing that world leaders have pledged to ‘leave no one behind’ in the realization of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a commitment that encompasses all people in situations of displacement and crisis;

Welcoming the UN Secretary-General’s decision to convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2016;

Emphasizing the imperative of a collective commitment to humanitarian action;

Recognizing the guiding humanitarian principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and independence;

Reaffirming the importance of full and consistent respect for international humanitarian law;

Convinced that parliamentarians must provide political will that can generate adequate, timely and effective responses to humanitarian crises, and promote the peaceful resolution of conflict through political means;


  1. Call on APPF Member States to participate actively and constructively in the 2016 UN World Humanitarian Summit;
  2. Urge APPF Member States and APPF Parliaments to contribute to a humanitarian system that is effective and inclusive, focused on affected people and communities, and based on the prioritization of dignity, protection and resilience;
  3. Ensure that gender perspectives are mainstreamed in decision-making about the planning, allocation and evaluation of humanitarian assistance, which must respond to the specific needs of women and girls in a comprehensive and consistent manner;
  4. Insist that, in all humanitarian contexts and conflict settings, the safety and security of humanitarian personnel, facilities, equipment, vehicles and supplies be assured in accordance with APEC’s Emergency Travel Facilitation Initiatives;
  5. Promote accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law;
  6. Urge APPF Member States and APPF Parliaments to redouble efforts to find durable solutions to conflicts through conflict prevention, diplomacy and mediation;
  7. Provide parliamentary oversight of national funding mechanisms and budgetary allocations related to humanitarian assistance to ensure their consistency with commitments made at the international level;
  8. Advocate responses to humanitarian appeals that are timely and adequate, commensurate with national capacity and the needs identified by the international humanitarian system, and by understanding responsive local considerations;
  9. Prioritize disaster risk reduction and resiliency, including by supporting implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 at the international, regional, national and local levels;
  10. Appeal to APPF Member States to respond – in a manner consistent with international refugee law and international human rights law – to the humanitarian dimensions of refugee and migrant movements, and to displacement caused by anthropogenic climate change and natural disasters;
  11. Encourage APPF Member States to cooperate in sharing the burdens and responsibilities associated with refugee crises, including by providing support to those countries that are host to significant numbers of refugees;
  12. Call on APPF Member States, and encourage non-Member states, to place special emphasis on ensuring a strong legal framework that facilitates the distribution of humanitarian aid, and one that is transparent and fights against corruption.


Resolution on Strengthening the Global Response to Humanitarian Crises

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