Nigel Fisher

Former Regional UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis

In his recent visit to the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Nigel Fisher discusses issues arising within the international humanitarian assistance framework, and especially the problems and challenges related to its traditionally ‘top-down’ approach from the Global North towards the Global South. Fisher notes that while there is an increasing (and increasingly urgent) need for humanitarian aid, there often are too few resource made available, and less respect amongst the disputing or warring factions for human rights standards and humanitarian principles. In an increasingly interconnected and multi-polar world, Fisher argues that there is a constant politicizing of humanitarian aid. Although there are many complex issues affecting the effective and timely provision of humanitarian assistance around the globe, in this public lecture Nigel Fisher identifies five common issues that he argues are necessary to address in order to create a more efficient system.

About Nigel Fisher
Nigel Fisher O.Ont, M.S.C., LL.D., recently stepped down as Regional UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis. He was appointed in July 2010 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General; he was also Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN system agencies in Haiti. Dr. Fisher has worked for three decades with the United Nations in a dozen countries, with UNICEF for over two decades in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, with the Department of Peacekeeping and as Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Project Services, at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General.


Recorded March 2015