Humanitarian Congress Vienna 2015

On Friday, 6th March 2015, the 3rd Humanitarian Congress took part in the venerable halls of the University of Vienna. One of the main goals of the Humanitarian Congress is to increase the visibility of humanitarian work. Furthermore, it aims at increasing the awareness among relevant political decision makers for the importance of humanitarian aid and respective funding, both at the national, the European and the international level. 

The Humanitarian Congress Vienna unites experts from medical, humanitarian and international organisations, politics, media and a great number of students from different academic subjects. Additionally, the Congress offers an exceptional combination of humanitarian and political keynote speeches and debates.

This year’s Humanitarian Congress Vienna was guided by the motto: « Humanitarian Aid under Fire ». Together with other international humanitarian NGOs, HOPE’87 was a co-organizer of the Congress. About 500 participants registered for participation in the Congress.

Annelies Vilim, who is the Director of the AG Global Responsibility (the Austrian Platform of Organisations working in Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid) welcomed the 500 participants registered for the Congress.

Mr. Rudolf Hundstorfer, the Austrian Minister of Social Affairs, as well as Peter Launksy-Tieffenthal, the Director General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held their welcoming notes.

Moreover, it was especially a great honor that Kyung-Wha Kang, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations (UN), held the official opening speech.

 After the opening speeches, there were various lectures dealing with both current challenges and opportunities that humanitarian aid faces, e.g. the different aspects and causes of potential negative effects of humanitarian aid on armed conflict, the refugee tragedy of Lampedusa or the impact of social media on humanitarian aid. The panel discussions were held by various stakeholders of international humanitarian aid.

During the breaks, the participants of the Congress could inform themselves about the work of the NGOs that organized the Humanitarian Congress. HOPE’87 was also represented with a information desk where HOPE’87 team members distributed information material, presented a slideshow about the current activities and answered the questions of the visitors. 

Thus, by listening to the panel discussions, informal and formal discussions about the relevance of humanitarian aid and other important related issues, the day passed by quickly. Altogether, it was a very exciting and successful day for HOPE’87 as many participants know now more about our organization and our work, especially what concerns humanitarian aid.