Panel #3: Adverse effect of climate change and natural disasters as drivers of migration

Statement held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, 22-23 May 2017.

Thank you chairperson. Norway would like to thank the panelists for their presentations and those who contributed to the inter-agency Issue brief that we received in preparation for this consultation.

We would like to make four points.

First, in order to address climate change and natural disasters as drivers of migration, we need a better understanding of this complex phenomenon and the inter-linkage with other factors affecting migration, such as lack of economic opportunities, population growth, political instability and depletion of natural resources.

We should focus on assessing areas or communities at risk of disaster displacement and strengthen the cooperation on data collection and risk analysis and make these available to all actors.

Second, we need a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach. Our efforts to address environmental and climatic drivers of migrations cannot be separated from other important and relevant global processes like the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Agenda for Humanity.

Implementing the commitments made in these processes will help to reduce displacement risks and increase resilience. This will require stronger cooperation across different policy areas, notably between the humanitarian and development sectors.

Third, we should make use of existing legal frameworks that are applicable to the situations of environmental displacements. This includes human rights law, environmental law, international disaster response law, and in situations of armed conflict, international humanitarian law as well as national legislation and regional instruments and soft law approaches.

We should also ensure complementarity with existing policy frameworks and institutions, notably the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC, to avoid duplication and build synergies across policy areas and fora.

Fourth, we should highlight best practices. The Nansen Initiative, initiated by Norway and Switzerland, provided us with a tool box for how to deal with disaster and climate-related displacement and how to avoid it. The tools should be used and further developed.  We look forward to see this being followed up through the Platform on Disaster Displacement and in cooperation with IOM and other key partners.

Thank you.