Member States inform Panel on peace and security dimensions of internal displacement

11 March 2021

Member States representatives in New York and relevant actors joined in the Consultation on Peace and Security Dimensions of Internal Displacement virtually on March 11 to inform the work of the Panel.

Peace and security cannot be treated as afterthoughts in the search for durable solutions, concluded a consultation with Member States in New York to inform the work of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. Organized by the Secretariat of the Panel with the support of the Co-chairs of the New York-based “Group of Friends” of the Panel on March 11, the Consultation on Peace and Security Dimensions of Internal Displacement saw representatives of Member States and other actors discussing how peace and security can be incorporated systematically into action on solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In the opening, Panel Co-chair Federica Mogherini noted that the results of the Panel’s consultations so far have underlined the importance of shared and complementary actions by humanitarian, peace and development actors to advance effective prevention, response and solutions to internal displacement. “When we consulted IDPs, security consistently was one of their top priorities,” she highlighted. “What we have tried to do through our research and consultations is identify where there might be small windows of opportunity to strengthen safety and security for IDPs.”

Co-Chairs of the “Group of Friends” H.E. Ambassador Issa Konfourou, Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations, and H.E. Ambassador Mona Juul, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, reiterated the need to address the roots of displacement, foster a protective environment for safe and voluntary return and achieve long-term solutions.

Among the key themes discussed in the consultation was the role of protection of civilian policies in reducing impacts of conflicts on communities. H.E. Ambassador Adela Raz, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, described her country’s national policy on the prevention and mitigation of civilian casualties. She elaborated that the fundamental objective of the policy, adopted in 2017, was to reduce civilian casualties from military operations.

On prevention, the second main theme of the consultation, David Haeri, Director of Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training at the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO), shared the experiences of various UN peacekeeping missions, underlining that an integrated approach and partnerships are key to detect early warnings, assess threats and build institutional response.

With regard to solutions, Sorcha O’Callaghan, Director of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute (HPG ODI), called for a shift in attitude and mindsets to debunk the misconception that internal displacement is solely a humanitarian concern.

“Durable solutions are impossible to achieve without peace and security, yet peacebuilding remains an afterthought,” she said, adding that there are limited incentives for peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

In the discussions, interventions were made by Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, the European Union, France, Georgia, Germany, the Holy See, Indonesia, Morocco, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States of America, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, InterAction, IOM, UNDP and UNHCR.

Closing the event, Panel Co-chair Donald Kaberuka underscored, first, that IDPs are not just “passive observers” but citizens of their countries whose needs should be integrated in national development plans with the support of international financial institutions. He stressed the importance of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and the need to give it effect in practice.

“It is impossible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless the issue of internal displacement is addressed through the triple nexus with adequate social capital and funding,” concluded Mr. Kaberuka.



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