Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Christos Stylianides on World Humanitarian Day 2016

European Commission – Statement
Brussels, 19 August 2016

World Humanitarian Day marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, when 22 humanitarian workers lost their lives, including the UN Special Representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
HRVP Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Christos Stylianides, made the following statement:
The tragic images of children from Aleppo in Syria sadly show all too clearly the real human suffering of millions of people around the world caught up in humanitarian crises.
As the European Union, just yesterday we reiterated the urgent need for all parties to the conflict to restore the cessation of hostilities, ensure the lifting of all sieges and allow sustained, countrywide humanitarian access to those in need in Syria.
We are in close contact with UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura to support the efforts to allow humanitarian organisations to provide lifesaving aid and bring a political solution to the conflict.
And today, on World Humanitarian Day, we pay special tribute to and honour all humanitarian workers around the globe who are working to help people in need.
We honour the memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. We honour all those who risk their lives while bringing assistance to victims of wars and natural disasters worldwide.
Nearly 4000 humanitarian workers have become victims of major attacks since records began in 1997. Tragically, over one third of them were killed, paying the ultimate price to serve humanity.
We must not forget their sacrifice. We must strengthen our understanding of and respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the four humanitarian principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. We reaffirm our commitment to defend IHL and these principles which should be the shield of humanitarian workers while they do their job and ensure access to people most in need.
Last year, the European Commission mobilised the largest ever humanitarian aid budget to assist those in the greatest need. From the victims of the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, to strengthening our support for education in emergencies, or helping those affected by the "El Niño" extreme weather phenomenon, our help has supported the most vulnerable.
The European Union is proud to be a world leader in humanitarian assistance and to have helped more than 134 million victims of natural and man-made disasters across more than 80 countries in 2015."
For further information
MEMO: The European Union honours humanitarian workers: http://ift.tt/2bia4lt
Video: World Humanitarian Day – Statement by EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qqJBJrAqD4
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on Syria and the situation in Aleppo: http://ift.tt/2b3GsYk
Website of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO):
http://ift.tt/17LdxOD
Website of the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides:
http://ift.tt/1SurI68
STATEMENT/16/2801

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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