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Programme 2019

The Humanitarian Congress Vienna brings together international stakeholders from humanitarian aid, politics, media, academia, civil society and business to engage in dialogue on policy, good practices, recent developments and future visions in the field of humanitarian aid.  Join us to shape the debate on the “Future of Humanitarian Aid”, engage with leaders, experts and practitioners, contribute your experiences and insights, and participate in peer-to-peer networking. Sessions will run approximately from 09:00 to 18:00. The Congress Organizing Team reserves the right to make changes to the programme if necessary. Register now!



09:00 - 09:30Main Ceremonial Chamber

Opening remarks: Annelies Vilim  Welcome note: Karin Kneissl
Keynote address: Mark Lowcock

09:30 - 11:15Main Ceremonial Chamber
Humanitarian needs are increasing around the world. We are confronted with new geo-political directions, new patterns of natural disasters and a shift in expenditure priorities. The need to safeguarding quality and improving effectiveness as well as efficiency of humanitarian interventions has been recognized. In this panel you will be invited to consider whether the global humanitarian system is ready for the future and what the responsibilities of states, international institutions and humanitarian organisations are in this context.
11:15 - 11:45
Networking Break
11:45 - 13:15Main Ceremonial Chamber
We are all influenced by how the media creates narratives or how media are used by those in power to reframe perceptions when targeting certain groups. We invite you to discuss what the consequences of such narratives for humanitarian actors and civil society are.
11:45 - 13:15Small Ceremonial Chamber
This panel will let you explore and unpack the challenges, risks and opportunities for principled and effective humanitarian action in protracted crises within the triple nexus (humanitarian action, development and peacebuilding), especially at the country and regional level. Can humanitarian action avoid being politicized, when being drawn into highly political processes such as peace- building and state-led development?
13:15 - 14:15
Lunch Break
14:15 - 15:45Main Ceremonial Chamber
In armed conflicts International Humanitarian Law protects all those not involved in fighting (anymore). Today‘s wars are changing and will continue to change in the future. How do Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law have to evolve to accommodate issues such as combat robots, nuclear war and counter-terrorism? When projecting the way today’s wars are fought further into the future, how do Human Rights Law and Inter- national Humanitarian Law have to change?
14:15 - 15:45Small Ceremonial Chamber
Our life has been fundamentally changed by technologies such as blockchain, data mining, reality apps, drone technology, artificial intelligence and will continue to change in the future. In this panel we will elaborate both the power as well as pitfalls of future technologies for the humanitarian sector. Who is responsible for ensuring that emerging technologies are used for the greater good?
15:45 - 16:15
Networking Break
16:15 - 17:45Main Ceremonial Chamber
More than 132 million people are still in desperate need of humanitarian aid. The World Humanitarian Summit 2016 called for greater investments, more efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with humanitarian crises. The panel will discuss what is needed to achieve those aims, and how new financing models, cash-transfer programmes or grass roots savings – among other methods – can contribute to these goals.
16:15 - 17:45Small Ceremonial Chamber
Climate change, natural disasters, short and protracted armed conflicts and on the other hand rapidly shifting technological and socio- econmocial environments. What questions would a young generation ask us about the future of humanitarian aid?
17:45 - 18:00Main Ceremonial Chamber