Thank you, President, and let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on assuming your role for the month of November, and again thank our dear colleagues from Gabon for guiding us so ably through October.
Let me first thank High Commissioner Grandi for his very important briefing to the Council today. And for his leadership.
As we have heard so vividly from the High Commissioner:
Armed conflicts, violence, and persecution are forcing an unprecedented number of people to flee and seek safety and protection.
We are particularly concerned about the high number of children and youth being forcibly displaced – many of them alone. They are at high risk of recruitment to armed groups.
They must be protected against human trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence.
And we must ensure that their right to education is upheld.
They need a protective environment, and hope for the future.
There are several negative trends that must be reversed:
Armed conflict and persecution remain the main drivers of displacement.
Across conflicts, warfare in urban areas is killing and injuring civilians, destroying homes, schools, and hospitals, and depriving people of access to basic services and means of survival. Russia’s war against Ukraine is a horrifying example of this.
These challenges are then compounded by climate change and environmental degradation- which in themselves also drive instability, conflict – and displacement.
As we heard from the High Commissioner’s visit to Somalia.
Meanwhile, food insecurity is also on the rise, as both a consequence, and a driver of conflict – leading to further displacement and affecting many host communities.
We see this in Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and in other regions too.
We cannot stand idle in the face of these challenges:
First, we need stronger political will and leadership to address root causes and prevent conflict and displacement.
This Council has a mandate to prevent conflicts.
And we must support the Secretary-General in his mediation efforts.
But prevention is also about good governance, inclusive and sustainable development - and building resilience against climate change, food insecurity and poverty.
My second point is on the importance of protection. Parties to armed conflict must protect civilians and, to the extent possible, reduce the risks that drive displacement.
Protection must also be at the core of the humanitarian response.
This requires safe, rapid, and unhindered humanitarian access, and the sustained presence over time of humanitarian actors.
And all States and other relevant parties must do their utmost to protect and assist displaced persons – and comply with refugee law, human rights, and where applicable, international humanitarian law, in doing so.
And third, we must seek durable solutions benefitting both the displaced and their host communities.
This demands complementary approaches linking humanitarian assistance with development, climate action, peacebuilding, and human rights work.
Participation of, and accountability to, affected communities and displaced persons themselves is crucial.
Norway supports the Global Compact on Refugees as a roadmap to inclusive and durable solutions for the protection of refugees.
And we welcome the Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on internal displacement, and the appointment of a Special Adviser.
Together with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, they will be key in supporting affected states in finding durable solutions.
The global community must show solidarity with the displaced and their host communities through a broader burden, and responsibility, sharing.
We need to engage more countries, international financial institutions, and the private sector.
Flexible, unearmarked funding is key to meet changing and growing needs.
And the High Commissioner’s role and mandate remain as relevant as ever – we reiterate Norway’s strong support to UNHCR.