ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Tuesday congratulated Turkey for successfully organizing the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
"I want to congratulate both Turkish authorities and the Turkish people for the excellent event which was brilliantly organized in Istanbul," he said.
Poroshenko praised the number of heads of state and government attending the summit and called the character of the discussion very promising.
The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, Europe is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and global social inequality has reached a peak.
At the summit hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, world leaders of UN member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are gathering in Turkey’s largest city Monday and Tuesday.
During the summit, attended by 125 of the UN’s 193 member states, at least 50 heads of government are announcing commitments to reduce humanitarian disasters.
These include: preventing and ending conflict; respecting the rules of war; addressing forced displacement; addressing gender inequality; responding to climate change; ending the need for aid; and investing in humanity.
Turkey ranked third in the list of countries with the most international humanitarian work in 2012 and 2013, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, says in its Turkish Development Assistance 2013 report – the latest such figures from the agency.
According to another 2013 Global Humanitarian Assistance report, the top five donors were the U.S. with $3.8 billion, followed by EU institutions ($1.9 billion), the U.K. ($1.2 billion), Turkey ($1.0 billion) and Sweden with $784 million.
Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion on caring for them since the start of the Syrian crisis.
About the humanitarian state of affairs in Ukraine since Russia’s March 2014 annexation, Poroshenko described the situation as a "disaster"
"The humanitarian situation is a disaster in both Ukraine and Crimea. There are illegal arrests. People are arrested for carrying Ukraine passports but doing nothing. Many Ukrainian Tatars are missing and many Ukrainian Tatars are killed, many of them in prison. As Ukraine’s president, I do my best to defend [them] and raise these questions to the forum discussion."
He said Russia bears direct responsibility for the disastrous situation in the east of the country, saying people there lack money, social benefits, jobs, food, and medicine.
"With that situation, we launched a proposal to establish an international trust fund for the people who found themselves in this situation – one for Crimea, and one for the occupied territory of Ukraine and the territory near the frontier."
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March 2014. Since then, the region’s Tatar minority has been subjected to repression, including arbitrary arrests and detentions.
The move was strongly opposed by Ukraine, the EU, and the U.S., which put sanctions on Moscow.