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ICVA Bulletin: Highlights from May 2021

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Message from Executive Director

The Future is Unwritten

As ICVA addresses some of the immediate operational and policy challenges, the last year has been an opportunity to look at the longer term for humanitarian NGOs and how to support the way NGOs navigate change. The ICVA 2030 Strategy, adopted on 19 May at the ICVA 18th General Assembly, sets ambitious transformations in this 9-year strategy supported by Strategic Priorities 2022-2024. The transformations for the network are not simply important for ICVA; they are important for the sector.

The choice made by ICVA’s General Assembly is one of adaptation, collaboration and rediscovering roles. This requires all of us to shift power, improve accountability, build social connections and strengthen trust. As NGOs, we are best placed to write our own future, so long as we are able to act from a willingness to be reactive to the needs of the people we desire to serve, rather than protect the status quo within the system.

Alongside conflict and disease, climate change is one of the top drivers of humanitarian need. The way NGOs address the impact of climate change on humanitarian action is one of the transformations of the ICVA 2030 Strategy. The ICVA General Assembly adopted the Commitment and Motion to Action on the Climate and Environment. Aiming to galvanise and steer collective humanitarian action, the General Assembly decided to sign on the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organisations.

ICVA’s 2021 Annual Conference which was held on 25 and 26 May, covered issues around maximising the environmental sustainability of our work and rapidly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions but, primarily, it was on stepping up our response to growing humanitarian needs and helping people adapt to the impacts of climate and environmental crises.

The Annual Conference and the follow-up are about rolling up our sleeves on the climate change issues of main concern to those involved in humanitarian response and policy.

This goes with the expectations, the hope, that we are all rolling up our sleeves as rightholders, as “We the Peoples” and as consumers with a moral obligation to our children and future generations. We have to change individually for this needed transformation and this is not necessarily comfortable.

Ignacio Packer
Executive Director | ICVA