UN Marks Two-Year Progress on Internal Displacement Action Plan

Joint Statement from UN Principals on Solutions to Internal Displacement

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Mona, was working at a local market in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, when heavy gunfire broke out. Unable to go back home, she had no choice but to flee for safety, leaving her family behind. Photo: IOM Sudan
Mona, was working at a local market in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, when heavy gunfire broke out. Unable to go back home, she had no choice but to flee for safety, leaving her family behind. Photo: IOM Sudan

The UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement has made significant strides two years after its inception, instilling hope for the future. However, challenges persist in addressing the needs of nearly 76 million internally displaced persons globally.

The Action Agenda, launched in response to a High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement at the request of 57 member states, aims to shift paradigms by prioritizing national ownership and integrating development, peace, and climate actions. The appointment of a Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement, who has been instrumental in coordinating efforts across UN agencies to bolster prevention, response, and sustainable solutions, has facilitated these coordinated efforts.

Key achievements include strengthened partnerships with 15 pilot countries, where collaboration with national authorities has focused on community-driven solutions. For instance, in Nigeria, local communities have been involved in the planning and implementation of housing projects for displaced persons. In Iraq, community leaders have played a crucial role in mediating conflicts and promoting social cohesion among displaced populations. These efforts have led to governments in Nigeria, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, Libya, and Ethiopia (Somali Region) committing to placing 8.5 million displaced persons and recent returnees on pathways to stability grounded in human rights principles.

Internationally, internal displacement has gained traction on development and peace agendas, a significant development that underscores the global recognition of this issue. This is evident in its inclusion in the World Bank’s corporate scorecard, which reflects the institution’s commitment to addressing internal displacement in its operations, and discussions at the World Bank Fragility Forum and COP28, where the link between displacement and climate change was a key topic. Incorporating displacement into the Loss and Damages Fund is pivotal in aligning climate action with displacement responses, further highlighting the global recognition of this issue.

Establishing a Solutions Fund and increased resources within the UN have bolstered support for national efforts. Resident Coordinators lead UN agencies in providing cohesive, solutions-focused assistance at the country level. Completing the IASC Review underscores ongoing efforts to enhance humanitarian responses and lay sustainable foundations.

Despite these strides, global displacement figures have reached unprecedented levels, underscoring the urgency of the situation. Today, there are 76 million internally displaced persons, including a record 9.1 million in Sudan alone. Urgent preventive action and sustained efforts are crucial to addressing these challenges and advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sustained dialogue and enhanced development financing are pivotal in consolidating gains and scaling up on-ground solutions. As the Special Adviser’s mandate concludes in 2024, the UN Steering Group pledges to safeguard progress and prioritize the needs of millions of internally displaced persons worldwide.

Signatories:

  • Amy Pope, Director General, International Organization for Migration
  • Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
  • Jean-Pierre François Renaud Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, UN-Department of Peace Operations
  • Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Peacebuilding and Political Affairs, UN-Department of Peacebuilding and Political Affairs
  • Catherine Russell, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

This joint statement underscores the collective and unwavering commitment of the UN Steering Group to address internal displacement and advance sustainable solutions globally.

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