49th session of the UNSC Monday 5 March, 2018, 13:15-14:30
Statement by May Elin Stener
The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), an unprecedented 65 million people around the world have been forced to flee from home. Among them are 22 million refugees.
At the same time, as was also pointed out in the High-Level Panel earlier today, we also see a growing concern about the validity and reliability of the actual numbers on displaced persons.
Governments and international organizations need good data to assist refugees and to meet challenges of forced displacement – and here better statistics plays an integral role.
Norway is committed to improving data and statistics on forced displacement and has been so for many years.
In fact, Norway has since 2012, supported the deployment of experts from Statistics Norway to work with UNHCR and Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS) in numerous contexts.
This serves as an interesting example of how a country can support the international humanitarian work directly, giving support from the statistical world to the humanitarian world.
This cooperation was taken to a higher level in 2015 when Statistics Norway and UNHCR, introduced statistics on refugees as a topic at the Statistics Commission. This was in fact the first time in the 70 year history of the commission that refugee statistics was discussed.
This has eventually led to the establishment of the expert group and the recommendations on refugee and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) statistics that we will hear more of in this session.
We see the need for better, more harmonised data on forcibly displaced persons. This is also specifically mentioned in the New York Declaration and in the draft version of the Global Compact on Refugees. The work of the Expert Group on Refugees and IDP statistics - therefore comes at the right time.