What We Do

Photo credit: OCHA/Leni Kinzli

The High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement was established by the UN Secretary-General to identify concrete recommendations on how to better prevent, respond and achieve solutions to the global internal displacement crisis. The Panel is comprised of eight members, co-chaired by Federica Mogherini, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Donald Kaberuka, Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Panel is expected to deliver its final recommendations to the UN Secretary-General in September 2021.



In May 2019, 57 Member States, representing every geographical group and including States directly affected by internal displacement, wrote to the UN Secretary-General calling for the establishment of a High-Level Panel on internal displacement. This call was echoed by UN entities, NGOs and academics, building on the 2017 UNGA Resolution on the protection of and assistance to IDPs (A/RES/72/182) and initiatives such as the GP20 Plan of Action to Advance Prevention, Protection and Solutions for IDPs and the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

The importance of addressing internal displacement is also highlighted in several global agendas, including the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and the New Urban Agenda. Underscoring the significance of these issues, the African Union designated 2019 as the "Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”, launched at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2019.

Building on this momentum, the UN Secretary-General established a High-Level Panel on internal displacement which focuses on addressing protracted displacement and achieving durable solutions for persons displaced in the context of armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations, as well as disasters and the adverse effects of climate change.

Photo credit: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

Purpose of the Panel

The High-Level Panel will deliver the report to the UN Secretary-General in September 2021 with concrete recommendations to Member States, the United Nations system, and other relevant stakeholders on how to better prevent, respond, and achieve solutions to internal displacement.

According to the Terms of Reference of the Panel, the report shall make recommendations in the following areas:

  • Strengthening capacities of Member States, the UN system and other relevant stakeholders to ensure adequate protection and assistance for internally displaced persons, to prevent such displacement and reduce it in view of achieving durable solutions, in a manner that is in line with international law and standards, and as reflected in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and other relevant frameworks;
  • Advancing collaboration between humanitarian, development, and peace actors to better support affected Member States in addressing internal displacement and facilitating the exchange of lessons and good practices among affected states and other relevant actors; 
  • Advancing the participation and inclusion of IDPs and displacement-affected communities in the realization of the 2030 Agenda, and in doing so being conscious of the specific needs of those who may be particularly vulnerable, including women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities; 
  • Improving the collection, analysis and use of quality data relevant to internal displacement taking into account gender considerations and age-sensitive approaches; and 
  • Innovative financing and funding mechanisms and strategies in support of addressing internal displacement.


Photo credit: OCHA/Yasmina Guerda


In undertaking its in-depth review and formulating its findings and recommendations, the Panel is supported by its Secretariat and also relies on the following modalities:

Panel meetings: The Panel will meet as needed and at least four times in 12 months. Individual panel members will also convene and participate in thematic and regional meetings and consultations.

Consultations: The Panel is committed to robust consultation and participation from a wide range of actors including:

  • Displacement-affected communities including internally displaced men, women, boys, and girls;
  • Authorities and governments in countries affected by internal displacement;
  • Donors, UN Member States, and regional intergovernmental bodies;
  • Humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding agencies and organizations;
  • Civil society actors, including academia and think tanks;
  • International financial institutions and the private sector; 
  • Individual experts and specialists.

Expert Advisory Group: The Secretary-General has established and nominated four officials of leading experts on internal displacement, who are advising the Panel in its deliberations.

Gender approach: In its work, the Panel will consider the interconnected, varying effects of internal displacement on women, girls, men and boys.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panel has fundamentally shifted its ways of working. Recognizing the significant limitations imposed by the pandemic, in August 2020 the Secretary-General extended the Panel’s timeline by a period of seven months. The Panel will now submit its final report in September 2021. For more information on how the Panel will approach its consultative work from December 2020 to September 2021, click here to read the Program of Work. 


Letter of 57 Member States to the UN Secretary-General

In May 2019, 57 Member States, representing every geographical group and including States directly affected by internal displacement, wrote to the UN Secretary-General calling for the establishment of a High-Level Panel on internal displacement. 

Download Letter

High-Level Panel Terms of Reference

The High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement has been appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General with a clear Terms of Reference (ToR).

Click here to read its ToR.

Program of Work

Click here to read the Program of Work which outlines how the Panel will be approaching its consultative work from December 2020 to September 2021.