Norwegian resolution on internally displaced persons adopted in the UN

Internally displaced persons in South Sudan
This young girl stands in front of the temporary shelter where she lives in the UN Protection of Civilian Camp in South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Kate Holt.

More than 40 million persons are displaced in their own countries due to conflict. Norway has put forward a resolution on internally displaced persons, which was adopted in the UN today. ‘This resolution is important. It confirms the rights of internally displaced persons, and highlights the importance of ensuring better protection,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The resolution, which was adopted in the Third Committee of the General Assembly, emphasises the need to increase assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

‘For some time, Norway has promoted stronger efforts to support internally displaced persons. It is very positive that the UN resolution has now been adopted, and I hope it will increase focus on IDPs and enhance efforts to provide assistance, both in the UN system and in individual member countries,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

The number of people who are internally displaced due to war and conflict is twice as high as the number who have fled to another country. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are not entitled to protection under the UN Refugee Convention, but they nevertheless have a huge need for humanitarian assistance and protection.

In addition to the 40 million people who are internally displaced due to war and conflict, around 25 million are displaced in their own countries by natural disasters every year.

The resolution on IDPs is debated in the General Assembly every other year, and is always put forward by Norway. This year’s resolution underlines the importance of providing assistance to IDPs if we are to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most IDPs will not be able to return to their homes for many years. It is therefore important to take a long-term approach, to prevent aid dependence and to help IDPs to lead a dignified life. The resolution also emphasises the need to step up efforts within the UN system, and requests the UN Secretary-General to take action to ensure more effective and better coordinated support.