The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit opened on Monday in Istanbul, Turkey!

The opening ceremony was a journey for humanity through music, images and words, featuring people affected by humanitarian crises. Watch the powerful performances online.

As he took the stage, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the President of Turkey, relief activists and international celebrities to urge the global community to shape a different future for the world.

Dozens of high-level side events took place at the Summit on Monday, focusing on a range of areas of  humanitarian action.

Here are just some highlights:

  • Global and national organizations launched the Education Cannot Wait fund, which aims to provide 13.6 million children and youth in emergencies and protracted crises with quality education over the next five years.
  • Every day, some 500 women and girls die from childbirth and pregnancy in areas affected by, or prone to, conflict or natural disaster. Recently-appointed UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd launched the Safe Birth Even Here campaign to to protect the rights of the women and girls living in humanitarian and fragile settings.

Meanwhile, world leaders and celebrity supporters visited the Summit’s Innovation Marketplace at to take questions from Facebook users. See a selection of these Facebook Live videos here. 


Get a taste of all the action behind the scenes in this photo gallery, which is being continually updated.

The Summit continues on Tuesday. Here’s how to follow.

Tune in to watch live webstreams from the UN Webcast team.

Follow multilingual social media accounts:

  • Twitter: @UN, @WHSummit and @UNOCHA
  • Facebook:
  • Instagram:
  • Snapchat: united-nations
  • Hashtag: #ShareHumanity

The major UN Social Media accounts are putting out content in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish are also actively covering the Summit, too.

Get wrap-up stories, interviews and more here:

Read up on the Agenda for Humanity and get other key documents here.