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By most accounts, May’s World Humanitarian Summit in Istan- bul, Turkey, was a disappoint­ment. Granted, expectations heading into the meeting were low to begin with, and the summit lived down to its billing.

The intention behind the event was to revitalize the global humanitarian system, which is teetering under the strains of the Syrian civil war and a refugee crisis that has spilled over into Europe. But few world leaders took the event seriously. Even few­er—particularly Western leaders—bothered to show up at all, opting to go direct to the G7 meeting in Japan instead. And while many of the...

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  • CIGI Senior Fellow Andrew S. Thompson is a specialist in the fields of international human rights, civil society movements and fragile states.

  • With a distinguished career in Canadian diplomacy — including posts as ambassador to Germany, permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and adviser to various prime ministers, Paul Heinbecker is one of Canada’s most experienced commentators on foreign policy and international governance. Paul is also the director of the Centre for Global Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University.