Skip to content

UN Secretary General Ban visits UNHCR Excom - Denmark speaks about Solutions Alliance

01.10.2014  11:34
""

UN Sec.Gen.Ban Ki-moon

65th Session of the Executive Committee of UNHCR 29 September – 3 October 2014

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, visited the Executive Committee meeting of UNHCR today. In his speech, the Secretary General welcomed the establishment of the Solutions Alliance. The Secretary General remarked:

"Securing durable solutions for internally displaced persons and refugees is a joint responsibility and one that needs to be undertaken progressively. We have learned many lessons in the field.  Now we must use what we have learned to bring together more actors to achieve common commitments. The new Solutions Alliance is an important platform to do just that. We know that planning for solutions must start early – in fact, during the emergency phase. After all, unresolved displacement can upend a country’s path to peace and prosperity.  That is why the needs and potential of displaced populations must be reflected in national development plans and based on joint analysis."

The Danish ambassador, Carsten Staur, also spoke this morning. The Ambassador noted that UNHCR, in fulfilling its mandate, provides hope to millions of people all over the world on a daily basis and that Denmark commend this effort and is proud to contribute as one of the biggest donors to the organisation.

Building on the remarks from the United Nations Secretary General, Denmark expressed appreciation of the increasing focus from the UN and a broad variety of countries and other actors in striving to find durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced people.

Together with UNHCR, and others, Denmark Co-chairs the Solutions Alliance. That is a broad-based network of actors that work together in bringing an end to protracted displacement situations and to advocate globally for new, more development-oriented approaches to displacement and solutions. Denmark is pleased with UNHCR's engagement in this issue.

""

Danish statement, General debate

Mr. Chairman, High Commissioner, Distinguished delegates,

During the past week more than 140,000 Syrian and Iraqis have fled across the border into southern Turkey.  This comes on top of massive displacement of people in northern Iraq and in many other locations around the world and are just the latest example of the acute and unpredictable conditions under which UNHCR is expected to deliver.

In fulfilling its mandate, UNHCR provides hope to millions of people all over the world on a daily basis. We commend UNHCR for this effort and we are proud to contribute as one of the biggest donors to the organization.

There is no doubt that UNHCR is indispensable – to us, the member states, and to the people whom the organization serves. In fulfilling its mandate, by providing protection and by assisting people in often hopeless situations. We are grateful to the men and women of UNHCR as well as its implementing partners for doing this job. 

We also note that bringing hope to people either in these situations is not for free. During this years’ ExCom, we will approve the highest ever budget of UNHCR – over 6 billion dollars. This cannot continue indefinitely but in the absence of political solutions to the many crises situations that we are confronted with, it is increasingly difficult to see any alternatives, no matter how stressed humanitarian budgets are worldwide.

In our view, this situation is a clear indication of the need to adopt a double focus in UNHCRs continued organisational development: First, that UNHCR must redouble internal and external efforts to ensure that the system-wide response to displacement is as efficient as possible. And second, that UNHCR must redouble its efforts to find solutions to protracted displacement situations whereever possible.

Mr. Chairman.
In securing humanitarian efficiency, leadership, coordination and strengthened partnerships are essential. We are pleased to note the continuing efforts to make UNHCR an efficient, lean and increasingly transparent organisation under the capable leadership of the High Commissioner. And we appreciate the continuing engagement of UNHCR in identifying and nominating top candidates to the HC, DHC and Level 3 pools. We also thank UNHCR for its leading role in several key clusters both globally and at the country level. We encourage UNHCR to continue to strengthen this type of engagement, not least in all major emergencies, to the benefit of all. And we welcome the agreement made in April between UNHCR and OCHA on “Mixed refugee/IDP-Situations”. We expect that this agreement, supported by clear guidance from the top management, will help both organizations to work better together at country level in the most efficient and effective way.

We also welcome the initiative to strengthen the capacity of national NGOs for preparedness and response to emergencies and enable them to assume greater roles in emergency response within their own and neighboring countries and regions. National and international NGO’s are implementing an increasing share of UNHCR’s programs. We urge UNHCR to ensure principles of partnership are fully understood and integrated at the field level, including that financial processes support predictability.

Mr. Chairman,
Denmark is equally pleased about the progress made with regard to solutions. Together with UNHCR, and others, Denmark Co-chairs the Solutions Alliance -  a broad-based network of actors that work together in bringing an end to protracted displacement situations and to advocate globally for new, more development-oriented approaches to displacement and solutions. The progress in this regard is promising indeed. National groups have been established in Zambia and in Somalia - and two thematic groups have been set up as well and more may be created as we move along. The Alliance is dynamic and inclusive, and it welcomes new members who are committed to advance the mission of the Solutions Alliance. On Thursday at lunch, there will be a Side-event about the Solutions Alliance and I hope that many delegations would use this opportunity to gain more insight and engage. We can only succeed through joined up efforts, involving both humanitarian agencies as well as development actors, including in particular affected governments. Their leadership and engagement is indispensable.

Mr. Chairman,
I will end by reiterating that Denmark is, and always has been, a strong supporter of the work carried out by UNHCR under its mandate to provide protection and durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced. The role of UNHCR continues to be indispensable – and it deserves the greatest possible respect and support from all members of the international community.