World Humanitarian Summit
The first World Humanitarian Summit on 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul convened 9000 participants from 173 Member States, including 55 Heads of State and Government, hundreds of private sector representatives, and thousands of people from civil society and non- governmental organizations. The United Nations in its 70 years has never come together at this scale, with this many different stakeholders, to discuss the pressing challenges that are resulting in so much suffering today.
Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji graced two major special sessions, one on religious engagement, with so many revered religious heads, heads of major international faith based organizations doing incredible humanitarian work, and also governmental agencies including the US Department of State, which was moderated beautifully by Azza Karam, and another major session on global health with World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and many heads of government from across the world.
In the morning, they participated in programs organized by Jean Duff and the Joint Learning Initiative on the evidence of faith based engagement, and a program with Kailash Satyarthi, Save the Children, UNICEF and other organizations on protecting the rights of children. In the evening there was a gathering of the participants from India with the Ambassador of India to Turkey.