07 March 2018, GENEVA – A panel debate will be organized by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue – a think tank holding special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council – and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) to discuss the situation of the world’s internally displaced people (IDPs), and the causes and consequences of this global phenomenon.
The debate entitled “Protecting people on the move: Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the context of the refugee and migrant crisis” will be held on 21 March 2018 from 11:30 to 13:30 in room XXV at the United Nations Office in Geneva, on the margins of the 37th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The panel will discuss the issue of internal displacement from a global perspective, offering insights into how it fits within broader policy debates on refugees and migration. The discussion will then focus on the challenges in protecting and ensuring the safe return and reintegration of IDPs through several case studies, including Iraq and Syria. Azerbaijan will provide practical insights on the lessons that can be learned from assisting and supporting IDPs in protracted conflict situations.
The panel debate will be opened by the Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UN Geneva H. E. Ambassador Vaqif Sadiqov.
Speakers participating in the panel will be:
- (1) Ms. Alexandra Bilak - Director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
- (2) Mr. Thomas White - Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Syria Country Director
- (3) Mr. Fuad Huseynov – Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Refugee and IDPs Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
A video message will be delivered by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary.
The debate will be moderated by the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre Ambassador Idriss Jazairy.
The Geneva Centre’s Executive Director said the panel debate will aim to “broaden the discussion regarding the challenges related to protection needs of and enhancing mechanisms for return and reintegration of IDPs. Forced displacement of IDPs has become an issue of growing concern particularly in the Middle East. There are more IDPs than refugees worldwide. Despite this” – he said – “forced displacement of IDPs owing to conflict and violence has become a forgotten issue in the context of the migrant and refugee crisis. The panel debate will therefore aim to offer a ‘voice to the voiceless’ and to raise awareness of the situation of IDPs in the Middle East.”
The Director of IDMC, Ms. Alexandra Bilak, added that “this discussion will be a critical opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved since the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were adopted twenty years ago, and what needs to now happen to ensure the next twenty years bring about real change and more positive outcomes for the world’s IDPs“.
All attendees who do not hold a UN badge are kindly requested to register by sending their first name, last name and name of organization to firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 March 2018 the latest.