Speaking at a high level event on the World Humanitarian Summit: "Partnerships in a Changing Humanitarian Landscape", Ban Ki-moon said: "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the countries that offered to host this event, most notably Switzerland.... But after careful consideration I decided to accept the Turkish government’s offer to host the Summit in Istanbul. Congratulations. Thank you very much." "As you know very well, Turkey became the world’s fourth largest humanitarian donor in 2012 and ranks third in generosity relative to Gross National Income. More than 450,000 Syrian refugees have sought refuge in camps or local communities. And, of course, the country has itself been affected by natural disasters. We all recall the devastating earthquake that struck in Van, Turkey, in 2011. So today I ask you to join me in thanking Turkey for its generous offer to host the first World Humanitarian Summit. Thank you again, Mr. Minister." Ban continued. Noting that the World Humanitarian Summit would be more than an event, Ban said: "It will be a multi-year process, starting next year with regional consultations that will ask all actors to discuss how humanitarian work is conducted, how we can improve delivery for those in need. ...We count on the commitment of governments and all our partners to host consultations and to ensure that participation is as broad-based as possible." Ban also announced that he would be convening a follow-up pledging conference for Syria in January 2014.
Speaking after Ban, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the World Humanitarian Summit would be the "most meaningful" international summit ever held in Turkey, and extended thanks to Ban for choosing Turkey and Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator for her support.
Reminding that a lot of summits have been held in Turkey on security and mediation issues, Davutoglu said: "Nonetheless, I believe that the World Humanitarian Summit would be the "most meaningful" international summit ever held in Turkey".
Noting that Turkey would do everything to ensure a successful summit, Davutoglu said that Turkey has been the rising humanitarian donor lately and said: "Turkey has spent 2 billion US dollars on Syrian refugees in the last 2 years. Because we don't see them as refugees. We see them as guests".
Davutoglu assured Ban that Turkey's humanitarian aid efforts would continue, and they would be a perfect host.