Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has announced that the independent non governmental medical and humanitarian organization is pulling out from the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), an initiative of the United Nations Secretary General that will be held on May 23 and 24 in Istanbul.
Pulling out is a form of protest, as “the summit has become a fig-leaf of good intentions, allowing systematic violations, by states above all, to be ignored.” MSF stated.
MSF has been and is closely involved in helping and assisting refugees travelling to Europe during the refugee crisis, organizing search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and Aegean sea, providing medical consultations, health care, food, shelter and distributing relief items to refugees. MSF has already taken strong public stances to uphold the human rights of people fleeing war and trying to reach Europe.
In a press release, MSF explained that “we no longer have any hope that the WHS will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response, particularly in conflict areas or epidemic situations.”
MSF refers to the refugee crisis among other crises including the conflict in Syria, Yemen, the fever epidemic in Angola, the disease outbreaks in Democratic Republic of Congo. The agency recalls also the “the inhumane treatment of refugees and migrants desperately trying to find safe haven in Greece.”
According to MSF, “the WHS’s focus would seem to be an incorporation of humanitarian assistance into a broader development and resilience agenda. Further, the summit neglects to reinforce the obligations of states to uphold and implement the humanitarian and refugee laws which they have signed up to.”