President Higgins calls for 'rethink' of international politics

He was addressing the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul this morning

President Higgins calls for 'rethink' of international politics

Michael D Higgins at the Summit this morning | Image via: WHSummit on Twitter

President Michael D Higgins has addressed the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul this morning.

Speaking at the two-day event, President Higgins called for a "profound and integrated" rethink of international politics to end the global humanitarian crisis.

The two-day summit was called by the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to brainstorm ideas to help solve many of the world's current problems.

President Higgins at The World Humanitarian Summit | Image: Chris Bellew, Fennell Photography

In his speech President Higgins said Ban-Ki Moon made a moving appeal to world leaders to "turn words into action" and "to move beyond describing, again and again, the great suffering, the loss, the diminished lives of so many members of our shared human family".

He added: "For too long, empty pledges and fine words have died in our mouths – now is the time to turn promises into action for this generation".

He spoke about the need to honour those who have worked so hard to "prevent, reduce and respond to conflicts" and emphasised the importance of the summit as an "opportunity to restore hope." 

He also called on the United Nations to act decisively against poverty, conflict, displacement and climate change.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Trocaire's Executive Director Eamonn Meehan said that it's easier said than done as there is a "dichotomy" between what some countries say and "what they actually do".

"If you look at the permanent members of the UN Security Council, whose main job is to keep the peace globally, they're the biggest arms manufacturers and sellers of arms on the planet", he said.

"Quite often then have their own political interests in conflicts and solving the conflict quickly often isn't the first priority for them". 

You can watch the summit live at this link