This first World Humanitarian Summit was conceived about 4 years ago, by the United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his team, and it was a call for action to bring the global community together to reaffirm solidarity with the peoples affected by crises, famine, disasters, instability and war. It was held at the highest level and hosted by Turkey in Istanbul.


Most countries of the world participated with delegates, contributions, exhibitions and positive affirmation of this noble and pressing cause. Prominent individuals who believed in the virtuosity of this cause included many of world-renowned celebrities like actors Sean Penn, Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Forest Whitaker, who were all at the conference.

The First World Humanitarian Summit took place over two days at a state-of-the-art convention center and surrounding buildings, was a great success. The events started with an open ceremony in the main hall, with most world leaders, delegates and celebrities in attendance. Several of the leaders spoke as did the activists, representatives and celebrity actors, affirming their support for the cause and calling for action. Representatives of various afflicted areas around the world spoke, stating their cases.

World Humanitarian Summit

Following the opening event, the attendees either stayed to attend the events and plenary sessions in the main hall or disbanded to join separate High-Level Leaders’ Round-tables meetings, Special Sessions, Side Events and various global issue discussions that covered virtually almost every aspect of humanity including innovation, private sector engagement, displacement, risk and resilience, youth issues, gender discrimination and vulnerability, political issues, hygiene and health issues, migrant issues, religious issues, urban growth, water supplies and purification, food supplies, energy supplies, refuse disposal, connecting businesses, laboratories tests, transport, etc…. and the list goes on and on. There was a total of 137 Side Events! In addition, there were also an Innovation Marketplace and an Exhibition Fair. And to conclude the first day smoothly and happily, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra gave a 2-hour, memorable extravaganza of classical music.

At the end of the second day, there were again more memorable performances. Those were not by the Divan Orchestra, however, but by individual bands and performers who had travelled from their various countries, volunteering their time and talents for the event.

Furthermore, an artist had been invited to paint a huge, four-panel mural and she worked very hard over most of the two days to complete the artwork in time for the closing ceremony. At a suitable moment during this last event, the mural was taken inside into the main hall for exhibiting and for the more prominent attendees and leaders to sign. The latter included the president of Turkey, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Mayer of Istanbul.

Dr Barmada signing the mural

Dr. Barmada was highly privileged in attending the entire event, including the opening and closing events and musical extravaganzas. He was further privileged to meet many of the world celebrities and important figures, including the Mayor of Istanbul with whom he was photographed here, in front of the mural. In memory of his participation and contribution to attending the summit Dr. Barmada was honored in signing the mural and being listed on its wall of fame.

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