Today, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched his Action Agenda on Internal Displacement. With over 59 million people currently internally displaced around the world – the highest number ever recorded – there has never been a more critical moment to address this global crisis.
As the Heads of five UN Agencies and Entities, we come together today to express our shared commitment to taking this Action Agenda forward. We recognize that it is only with strong cooperation, common purpose, and joined up efforts that we will be able to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) find an end to their displacement, better prevent future displacement crises from emerging, and ensure that those currently facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance.
Importantly, we recognize that while humanitarian action continues to serve a vital purpose, achieving real change on internal displacement will require greater collaboration with, and engagement from, actors across the UN system and beyond – most notably development, peace, and climate experts. The current internal displacement crisis will not be sustainably resolved through humanitarian assistance alone, but rather by working with national and local authorities to create the conditions for safe and lasting solutions.
In developing the Action Agenda, the Secretary-General asked our five organizations to serve as a Steering Group on Solutions to Internal Displacement. The Steering Group has been meeting regularly since the start of 2022, and we look forward to welcoming the newly appointed Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement Robert Piper as the group’s Chair.
Looking to the future, the Steering Group will work with the Special Adviser to support implementation of the Action Agenda at all levels. This begins with each of our five organizations leading by example, both by stepping up our own engagement and by embodying the collaborative spirit called for in the Action Agenda. We will work closely with one another, and with other UN Agencies and Entities, to ensure complementarity and coherence in our efforts and will support UN Resident Coordinators as the UN’s lead on solutions at country-level.
As noted above, we will also seek to strengthen our partnerships with national and local authorities on internal displacement, including to redouble efforts to help IDPs sustainably reintegrate into society – whether they choose to return to their areas of origin, settle locally, or move to another part of the country. Protection and respect for the rights of IDPs and local communities will remain at the heart of this work and will guide all our engagements.
We will also work closely with other NGOs, civil society, and displaced communities themselves, recognizing that for our efforts to succeed, they must be engaged as true partners in the search for solutions. Further, we will seek to bring in new partners, including the private sector and development finance actors.
As the Action Agenda says, there is a long road ahead of us, but together it is possible to achieve real change. Our five organizations stand ready to take this important work forward and will be sharing more information over the coming months on concrete steps to deliver on this Agenda.
- Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination a.i., DCO
- Antonio Vitorino, Director General, IOM
- Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA
- Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP
- Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner, UNHCR