In 2007, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres launched the first in a series of Dialogues on Protection Challenges. This annual event in Geneva facilitates a lively and informal discussion on new or emerging global protection issues. Over the years, the Dialogue has become an important forum to discuss protection challenges related to UNHCR's mandate and work, and identify ways to strengthen the protection of people of concern to the refugee agency.
The choice of protection of Internally Displaced People (IDP) was welcomed by all stakeholders. For Norway protection of IDPs is a key issue, and it was a welcomed topic for the dialogue. Norway’s emphasis on this issue is exemplified outside the UNHCR as well. It is a tradition that Norway negotiates the resolution on IDPs that the UN General Assembly adopts every year. The resolution on IDPs was adopted by the UN 3rd Committee by consensus on 21 November, 2013.
Mr. Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council chaired the breakout session on Strengthening Partnerships. “When I was the Emergency Relief Coordinator in 2003-2006, we initiated a major humanitarian reform to benefit the neglected IDPs in wars and disasters. Since then, humanitarian work has become more effective in many crises; mortality and disease is down and education and shelter has improved many places. But the catastrophes in Syria and Central .African Republic show us how far behind we are in predictable protection and assistance in some of the places of greatest needs”, Mr. Egeland commented.
From the left: Director of NRC's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Mr. Alfredo Zamudio and Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Mr. Jan Egeland
The Dialogue on Protection Challenges is not structured to elicit formal or agreed outcomes, but rather provides a unique forum for a free and open exchange of views between states, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, the academic and research community and other stakeholders. At the close of the meeting, the High Commissioner delivers a summary of the discussions and highlights elements for follow up.
Read the Norwegian Statement