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The Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was held from 18 to 20 July at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Representatives from Member States, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector gathered to highlight the need for strengthened humanitarian partnerships to address today’s challenges.

This year’s theme is “Working in partnership to strengthen coordination of humanitarian assistance in a changing world”. Focusing on this theme, the segment addressed major challenges including access, the transition from relief to development, and resilience in regions such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

During the three-day segment, two panel discussions were held, chaired by the Vice President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Fernando Arias González of Spain, and moderated by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos. The panels were titled “Improving capacities for evidence-based humanitarian decision-making” and “Partnerships for effective humanitarian action”.

Sixteen side events were also held. They tackled various themes including the history of humanitarian coordination; youth in humanitarian crises; humanitarian response in urban contexts; civil-military coordination; transitional solutions initiatives; and partnerships and twinning in the provision of humanitarian assistance.

All three days of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment were covered via Twitter and Facebook. The panels were webcast live and the discussions were published in real time on Twitter (#Help2gether) and the OCHA Facebook page ( Twitter and Facebook users actively participated in the panel discussion by posing questions and comments to the panelists.

Below are some of the panellists’ presentations.

ERC Valerie Amos - Opening and Closing remarks
Kenya Open Data Initiative: Strengthening Social Service Delivery - Honorable Samuel Poghisio, Kenya Minister of Information and Communication
New Technologies for Crisis Response - Dr. Patrick Meier, Qatar Foundation