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Background and Origin

A non-profit foundation under Swiss law, the Forum was launched in late 2007 by Kofi Annan and Swiss Foreign Minister and then President, Micheline Calmy-Rey.

The idea to create a Global Humanitarian Forum arose from a study commissioned by the Swiss foreign ministry and carried out by the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva. The study aimed at identifying ways of strengthening the links between the various international communities in Geneva. One of its recommendations was the creation of a Forum able to reflect on how to boost the performance of the humanitarian system as a whole while reinforcing links between wide-ranging international actors.

The Forum was initially launched immediately following the first gathering of its Foundation Board on 17 October 2007.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and Kofi Annan announcing the formation of the Global Humanitarian Forum (Keystone, Geneva, 2007)