This speech was delivered at the World Humanitarian Summit on 24 May 2016 by Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty. Follow Salil on Twitter @SalilShetty
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:
When thinking of how best to use my time here today, one option I seriously considered was to observe a three minute silence to mourn the demise of international norms and humanitarian law.
These are arguably the darkest times since the formation of the United Nations. Conflict is driving displacement and wreaking devastating consequences on civilians who are literally caught in the crossfire.
I come to this Summit straight after seeing and hearing first-hand the horrific tales of displaced people in Iraq and south-east Turkey – two windows into a shameful worldwide story.
The stark truth is that from Syria to Nigeria, Afghanistan to South Sudan, Burundi to Ukraine, conflict zones have become a free-for-all. The norms put in place to protect us are treated with complete and utter disdain.