The First Ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which took place in Istanbul, is a “timely initiative as we witness an increase in humanitarian needs across the world,” explains Albrecht Boeselager, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta who participated in the two-day Summit, which opened in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 23rd.
The Grand Chancellor spoke at the WHS Special Session on Religious engagement- the contributions of faith communities to our shared humanity. Concerned with the declining disregard for humanitarian principles, the Grand Chancellor addressed the issue at the summit, “I call on faith-based organizations to promote the rules of international humanitarian law and invite the international community to discover the benefits of faith-based actors, to make better use of their unique qualities.”
The Special Session focused on the role of faith based institutions and organizations in promoting peace and providing relief in areas of conflict. The Sovereign Order of Malta participated at the event along with other leaders of religious communities and representatives of different faiths.
Together, they made a collective call to use their trust and credibility to amplify humanitarian diplomacy and to promote compliance to International humanitarian law as an important contribution towards peace maintenance and restoration.
“In a world where conflicts, violence, and natural disasters affect millions of people, faith-based entities share a critical responsibility and role in working for peace, both at local and national or international levels. We facilitate sustainable behaviour and relationship changes based on faith and worldview, offering mediation and sacred space for dialogue between parties,” the organizers of the Special Session explain.
At the end of the Special Session, participants showed their commitment to uphold fundamental humanitarian principles by compiling a final outcomes document.
Click to download the “Charter for faith-based humanitarian action”, a principles framework resulted from the WHS Special Session on Religious Engagement- The contributions of faith communities to our shared humanity.