2017 Conference

In 1986, ICIHI’s Secretary General, Zia Rizvi, observed that the purpose of the Commission was to “promote greater awareness of the human dimension in the countless problems which confront the global community.” Thirty years later, in 2017, the turbulence being experienced in many parts of the world means that the Commission’s purpose and findings are just as relevant today.

On 14 November 2017, a one-day conference will be held at Chatham House, London, to review the legacy of ICIHI and to remember Zia Rizvi, who passed away in 2016.

Involving high-level speakers as well as experienced humanitarian officials, analysts and advocates, the meeting, titled Winning Back the Human Race, will take stock of the work undertaken by ICIHI, assess the Commission’s impact and examine the international community’s evolving response to the key humanitarian issues of our day. 


Conference Programme

The first session of the conference, Contemporary armed conflicts: humanitarian action and the laws of war, will focus on the humanitarian challenges that arise in situations of armed conflict, while the second, Refugees and the dynamics of displacement: strengthening the protection of uprooted people, will examine the international community’s efforts on behalf of refugees and displaced people. The third session, Famine: why food insecurity persists, will explore the measures that might be taken to prevent and respond to situations of famine and food insecurity.

Each of these sessions will feature presentations by leading international experts, followed by responses from a panel of specialists as well as comments and questions from the floor. In each case, speakers will examine the Commission’s findings and recommendations, assess the extent to which they have influenced policy and practice, and identify outstanding and unresolved issues in the area under discussion.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion on the past, present and future of humanitarian action, bringing Prince Hassan, Lord Owen and Lord Malloch-Brown together with a younger generation of analysts.


 Programme Agenda 

9.00 – Registration and Coffee

 9.30 – Humanitarian assistance and protection – challenges and opportunities

Welcome: Dr Robin Niblett, Executive Director, Chatham House.

Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

10.00 – Opening session: The ICIHI and its legacy

Winning Back the Human Race: The ICIHI and the challenges of the future          HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Co-Chair, ICIHI.

The Role of Humanitas TV,
Lord David Owen, former Foreign Secretary, UK.

10.45 – Coffee break

11.15 – Panel 1: Contemporary armed conflicts: humanitarian action and the laws of war

Chair: Sara Pantuliano, Managing Director, ODI.

Antonio Donini, Tufts University.

Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, University of Oxford & European University Institute.

Dr Lina Khatib, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme,
Chatham House.

Norah Niland, Graduate Institute Geneva.

12.20 – The impact of the Commission – Humanitarianism Now

Chair: Minja Yang, President & Professor, Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation.

Lord Malloch- Brown

Baroness D’Souza

Riaz Rizvi

12.50 – Lunch

13.50 – Panel 2: Refugees and the dynamics of displacement: strengthening the protection of uprooted people

Chair: Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, Representative to the UK, UNHCR.

Dr. Martin Barber, Independent Analyst.

Dr Jeff Crisp, Associate Fellow, Refugees Studies Centre & Chatham House.

Lucy Hovil, Senior Researcher, International Refugees Rights Initiative.

Dr Pia Oberoi, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

14.55 – Panel 3: Famine: why food insecurity persists

Chair: Alex Thier, Executive Director, ODI.

Josette Sheeran, President, Asia Society

Saba Al Mubaslat, CEO, Humanitarian Leadership Academy

Lewis Sida, Humanitarian Aid Consultant, Sussex University

Robert Bailey, Research Director of Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House.

16.00 – Closing Session: the past, present and future of humanitarianism

Chair: Lord Mark Malloch-Brown.

HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, Co-Chair, ICIHI.

Lord Owen, former Foreign Secretary.

Dr Eleanor Davey, University of Manchester.

Ben Ramalingam, Institute of Development Studies.

17:00 – Reception and screening of the Humanitas film, ‘Refugees’ (20 minutes)

Conference Organisation

Sponsoring organisations that have already confirmed their participation include Chatham House, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre.

If you would like to attend the conference either in person or on the live-stream, we invite you to register via this link, kindly provided by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). 

For inquiries please contact Dylan Crisp at dylan.crisp@gmail.com.