ISTANBUL (AA) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday criticized leaders of the G7 countries, except German Chancellor Angela Merkel, over their absence at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
"It is disappointing that [some] world leaders could not be here especially those from G7 countries, except Angela Merkel of Germany," Ban said at a joint press conference with the summit’s host and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"The absence of these leaders does not provide [an] excuse for inaction. They have a unique responsibility to promote peace and stability," Ban said, adding that he proposed the summit four years ago out of "concern for rising humanitarian needs and declining political will".
The G7 countries, also called the Group of 7, includes the world’s largest industrial nations such as Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
During the summit, attended by more than 100 of the UN’s 193 member states and 55 heads of government, commitments to solving a rising humanitarian crisis were discussed.
These commitments include: preventing and ending conflict; respecting the rules of war; addressing forced displacement; addressing gender equality; responding to climate change; ending the need for aid; and investing in humanity.
Hosting the first humanitarian summit of its kind, Turkey ranks 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. Hosting almost 3 million Syrian refugees, Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion on caring for them since the start of the Syrian crisis.