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The United Nations Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement: Follow-Up to the Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement (June 2022)

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1. Introduction

The world is at a breaking point. Conflicts are lasting ever longer and human rights are routinely and systematically violated. Climate-related disasters are growing in frequency and intensity. COVID-19 brought the world to its knees and has placed many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even further out of reach. Where these threats intersect― and they often do―the dangers multiply and become mutually reinforcing.

In all these crises, record numbers of people have been forced from their homes and entire communities remain trapped in protracted displacement. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has doubled over the last 10 years, with women, children and marginalized groups often facing the greatest impacts.

The urgency to prevent internal displacement and find durable solutions is particularly acute in light of climate change, which is not only a driver of displacement but also a risk multiplier.

The World Bank estimates that 216 million people could be forced to move internally by 2050 in just six regions due to climate change if immediate action is not taken.

We face an untenable situation. It is untenable for those who are internally displaced and long to re-establish a lasting home.

It is untenable for host communities whose capacities to meet their own needs often become overstretched. And it is untenable for countries and cities for whom having large numbers of IDPs constitutes a major hurdle to meeting the SDGs.

Recognizing this crisis, and building on an appeal from 57 States, I established a High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement at the end of 2019. Over the course of 19 months, the Panel consulted widely and sought out new ways to drive change. It presented its final report on 29 September 2021, with 10 overarching recommendations for improved action. The task now falls to all of us to deliver on the changes that are so urgently needed.