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Thematic Discussion One

Past and current burden- and responsibility-sharing arrangements.

10 July 2017, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Statement by Norway

Norway would like to highlight the following points in this collective sharing of lessons learned.

First, our efforts to provide displaced persons with better opportunities and services should also benefit the host communities. This is a recognition of the tremendous generosity shown by states hosting large numbers of refugees and of the fact that most displaced persons live in urban areas outside of camps.

Second, protracted situations require a holistic approach and support across many sectors. The Somali situation is a case in point. Norway has increased its support for stabilization, new employment opportunities, good governance, peace and reconciliation in Somalia, all of which are preconditions for voluntary and sustainable return of Somali refugees. Norway strongly supports the new engagement of the World Bank in situations of displacement. We encourage stronger complementarity between humanitarian and development efforts, without compromising the humanitarian principles.

Third, Norway remains concerned about displaced children and youth missing out on education. Education is a human right, a precondition for development and an important protection tool. It goes without saying that it is challenging for many host countries to ensure quality education for large numbers of refugees, but thanks to the commitment of governments and their partners impressive results are being achieved in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. In order to make further progress, it is essential to address poverty-related barriers and logistical challenges that are often keeping children out of school even if they are given the opportunity to enroll. 2

Fourth, we must pay particular attention to the distinct protection needs of women and children. There are guidelines for this and the knowledge of the importance of this is mainstreamed. The implementation is not. We ask ourselves why.

Fifth, we must have a positive attitude to new, innovative and more efficient ways of responding. The use of cash based transfers is an example of a tool that can increase efficiency while enhancing the dignity of beneficiaries.

My sixth and final point is the need for good data, including sex and age disaggregated data. Good data is the basis for good policies, good programmes and good decisions for a better response.