ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat
Event date 19 Jun '18 - 21 Jun '18 12:00
Event location United Nations Headquarters • New York, United States


The ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS) has been an essential platform for discussing the activities and issues related to strengthening the coordination of the humanitarian assistance of the United Nations. The HAS provides a key opportunity for Member States, the United Nations system, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.  This year's HAS will take place from 19 – 21 June in New York. The theme for the HAS is “Restoring humanity, respecting human dignity and leaving no one behind: working together to reduce people’s humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability”, as adopted by ECOSOC on 4 April (E/2018/L.6).


The HAS enables Member States to engage with the United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian and development community, the private sector, affected people and other actors from a range of geographic groups on current humanitarian challenges.

Official Meetings and Other Events

The organization of the HAS will include a General Debate, including the adoption of the annual ECOSOC humanitarian resolution, three High-Level Panels, and side-events. A Transition Event that links discussions between the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment and the HAS will also take place before the opening of the Segment.

CBi Participation

CBi Member Networks representative Morika Hunter will represent private sector views in "Panel discussion: Strengthening local capabilities for sustainable outcomes and local resilience- contribution of humanitarian action" on 21 June, 10:00- 1:00 pm. The panel discussion will be shown online at

  • Chair: H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa and Vice-President of ECOSOC
  • Moderator: Ms. Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • Panellists:
    • Dr. Nilab Mobarez, Secretary General of the Afghan Red Crescent
    • Ms. Monique Pariat, Director General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, European Commission
    • Ms. Dineo Mathlako, Head of Operations, Department for International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa
    • Ms. Morika Hunter, Chair, Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council

The panel will discuss the experience of local actors who are often both affected by and the first responders to humanitarian emergencies and their knowledge of local contexts including risks and response priorities is crucial in ensuring that the humanitarian response is aligned with the needs on the ground and respectful of human dignity. The discussion will highlight that efforts to reduce the vulnerability of people, to strengthen their resilience and to enhance their ability to respond to shocks must begin at the local level, with international efforts reinforcing, not replacing, local humanitarian action. The panel will focus on how to strengthen the capacity of local response and reinforce national and local actors, including through the lens of financing and partnerships. Panellists will discuss the investments that can be made to support local capacity in the short, medium and longer term; and the importance of partnering with local responders before the crisis to assess and reinforce preparedness, response and recovery capacities on the ground. The panel will also address how international engagement should be based on a good understanding of existing response capacity and critical gaps, to support national and local efforts. Discussion will highlight lessons learned from current practices of international actors and ways in which assistance is being improved in different local contexts.

Photo: UN Photo / Sophia Paris