Thank you President Erdoğan, Secretary General Ban, Heads of State, fellow International Development Ministers, distinguished guests.

As highlighted by the Secretary General's report 'Agenda for Humanity' we face greater humanitarian needs than at any other time in modern history.

Amplified by climate change, natural disasters are affecting over 215 million people every year and forced displacement is at its highest since World War II.

It is critical that from the Summit comes a commitment to ensure resources and our collective efforts are best responding to these different crises.

From the Pacific Regional Consultation Australia co-hosted, ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit, the key message was resounding.

The international humanitarian system must adopt a differentiated approach that recognises the varied drivers of the crises we face and the capacity of Governments and communities to respond and rebuild.

Sadly, too much of our collective action is more a reflection of the humanitarian system we have than the humanitarian outcomes for affected communities we wish to achieve.

But we can change this through: greater investment in prevention and preparedness; more people-centred, inclusive action with a particular focus on women and people with a disability.

We also need to better bridge the humanitarian-development divide and support longer-term investment in addressing the root causes of crises.

It is vital that we enable – not sideline – local leadership and complementary regional preparedness and response mechanisms, and in so doing free up the international humanitarian system and its limited resources to engage where it is most needed.

To this end, Australia strongly supports the collective agreement of our fellow Pacific Island Forum Members to strengthen regional disaster and risk management cooperation through a mechanism that guides more coherent regional and international assistance.

Sufficient and appropriate financing will also remain a challenge.

But we know what better financing looks like: less earmarking, more multi-year, predictable funding and flexible approaches, such as the use of cash, which are again, more context appropriate.

Innovation is a key driver of reform.

I am proud to be showcasing later at the Summit the winners of the Pacific Humanitarian Innovation Challenge, who are driving new ideas and creative approaches to the way we deliver development and humanitarian assistance.

Ultimately, at its heart, humanitarian action is about providing life-saving assistance to those most in need. 

Australia was pleased to announce in our budget a $220 million, multi-year package that provides predictable humanitarian funding for Syria and its neighbours.

The package also includes support for efforts to build the longer-term resilience of refugees and their host communities in the region.

Through our own humanitarian action, particularly in the Pacific, Australia is committed to supporting the realisation of the Core Responsibilities.

However they do not represent an end in themselves.

The political will which is evident at this Summit must not be allowed to dissipate.

It must be the catalyst for ongoing reform and effective implementation of all commitments made over these two days in Istanbul.

Thank you.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7110
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555