Thematic Discussion Two

Measures to be taken at the onset of a large movement of refugees

Panel One: How can we better prepare for and respond rapidly to large   movements of refugees?

We are largely supportive of the suggested“global refugee response group”. The idea should be further developed in cooperation with relevant stakeholders. It will be important to apply a context specific approach, and to build on existing structures in order to avoid duplications and contribute to a better coordinated and more efficient systems than today.

We find the idea of “Solidarity Conferences” interesting. If this Is meant to become a permanent model, it should however be clear how it adds value to the existing practice of ad hoc donor conferences. We fully agree that it is necessary to engage member states at a high political level to mobilise support for comprehensive responses to large scale refugee situations. But, if we are going to move forward we this proposal, we must make sure that we avoid adding another conference to the schedule without identifying a clear purpose and specific goals.

Contingency planning needs to be prioritized by both host and donor countries. With regard to the question on standby mechanism, I would like to mention that we have a very positive experience from our cooperation with Norcap - the Norwegian Refugee Council's expert      deployment capacity. Norcap has around 200 experts on mission at any given time. It would clearly be a step forward if we manage to strengthen such mechanisms and the coordination between the them.

A question to the panel in this regard: How do you foresee that existing standby mechanisms would be included in the global response group?