GENEVA (27 June 2022) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons welcomes the launch by the United Nations Secretary-General of his Program of Action on Displacement internal. She issues the following statement:
“I applaud the launch by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres of his Program of Action on Internal Displacement, which is firmly anchored in the findings and recommendations presented by his High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. I also welcome the fact that the Program of Action reiterates the United Nations’ commitment to advancing the implementation of the Secretary-General’s call to action on human rights, which is essential to prevent displacement crises and provide better protection and assistance to displaced people and host communities, and ensure that protection and human rights remain at the heart of the UN’s work on solutions.
The number of displaced people whose lives have been devastated by armed conflict, generalized violence and disasters and whose hopes and possibilities for reconstruction are dim because they are trapped in protracted internal displacement continues to rise each year. . At the end of 2021, there were 59 million internally displaced people worldwide. In 2022, we are witnessing both new and prolonged outbreaks of armed conflict and disasters that are causing more people to flee, more suffering and trauma for women, men, girls and boys.
The Secretary-General’s message is clear: doing the same is not enough. My mandate is to help the United Nations achieve the three objectives of its program of action: to help internally displaced persons find durable solutions to their displacement; better prevent the emergence of new displacement crises; and ensure that people facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance. In this process, my mandate reiterates its commitment to mainstream the human rights of internally displaced persons into the United Nations system, based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
United Nations agencies and their partners must transform the way they work with States, displacement-affected populations and other local and national stakeholders to protect internally displaced people, prevent conflict and new displacement and to foster the conditions for durable solutions. I fully support the common foundations of the program of action in this regard, including the imperatives for States to fulfill their primary responsibility to protect the rights of internally displaced persons and to respond to their humanitarian and development needs; for internally displaced people to engage as citizens and residents of their country; and for the active participation of internally displaced persons and members of host communities of all ages, genders, abilities and diversities in decision-making.
The expert, Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council man. The Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations human rights system, is the general name for the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific national situations or issues themes in all regions of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
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