Time to lead by example, UN expert says: UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement

OHCHR

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons applauds the launch by the UN Secretary-General of his Action Agenda on Internal Displacement. She issues the following statement:

“I applaud the launch by UN Secretary-General António Guterres of his Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, which is solidly rooted in the findings and recommendations reported by his High‑level Panel on Internal Displacement. I also welcome that the Action Agenda reiterates the commitment of the UN to drive forward the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights as key to preventing displacement crises and ensuring better protection and assistance for internally displaced people and host communities, and to make sure that protection and human rights remain at the heart of the UN work on solutions.

The number of internally displaced people whose lives have been devastated by armed conflict, generalized violence and disasters and whose hopes and opportunities to rebuild are bleak because they are trapped in protracted internal displacement continues to grow each year. At the end of 2021, there were 59 million internally displaced people across the world. In 2022, we are witnessing both prolonged and new outbreaks of armed conflict and disasters that are causing more people to flee, more suffering and trauma to women, men, girls and boys.

The Secretary-General’s message is crystal-clear: more of the same is not good enough. My mandate is committed to supporting the UN to achieve its three Action Agenda goals: to support internally displaced people to find durable solutions to their displacement; to better prevent new displacement crises from emerging; and to ensure those facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance. In this process, my mandate reiterates its commitment to mainstreaming the human rights of internally displaced people in the United Nations system, based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

UN agencies and partners need to transform how they work with States, displacement-affected populations and other local and national stakeholders, to protect internally displaced people, prevent conflict and new displacements, and foster conditions for durable solutions. I fully support the Action Agenda’s common foundations for this, including imperatives for States to deliver on their primary responsibility to protect internally displaced people’s rights and meet their humanitarian and development needs; for internally displaced people to engage as citizens and residents of their country; and for the active participation of internally displaced persons and members of host communities of all ages, genders, abilities and diversities in decision-making.”

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