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Agenda Item 2a

Norway’s statement on international protection during agenda item 2a) of the 72nd meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee.

As delivered by Senior Adviser Marit Rosenvinge

 

Thank you chair,

Norway would like to thank UNHCR for the hard work over the last year in a number of complex refugee situations, both new and protracted ones. We also thank you for all the efforts in leading us through the informal and formal consultations on the Global Compact on Refugees, not losing sight of the centrality of protection. We appreciate the note on international protection prepared for this meeting, as well as the oral presentation this morning.

Norway thanks neighbouring states in regions close to conflict areas for hosting large numbers of refugees. We also hope and trust that our contributions of humanitarian and development aid and resettlement of refugees help alleviate the burden and make a difference.

Norway is in the process of reviewing and renewing our humanitarian strategy. Protection will be a key priority in the new strategy. As cluster lead, UNHCR has a particular responsibility to ensure protection within UN’s humanitarian response, especially at country level.

Norway continues to prioritize education and at least 8 per cent of our humanitarian budget has been allocated to education in recent years. Norway is concerned about the safety and security for women and girls in conflict and refugee situations, including access to sexual and reproductive health care, prevention of SGBV and also non-discrimination of LGBTI-persons. Norway continues to resettle refugees. This year the quota is again geographically dispersed with the highest sub-quotas allocated for Africa, following three years with a main focus on Syrians.

Mixed flows of refugees and migrants are challenging, like we see in the Central Mediterranean route and the current situation in Libya. We commend UNHCR’s efforts to work in very difficult circumstances there. The situation for refugees and migrants being held in detention in Libya is unacceptable by any standards. The evacuation mechanism is lifesaving. We commend Niger’s willingness and efforts to take part in the new evacuation mechanism and temporarily host evacuated refugees from Libya so that further processing can take place there. We hope more states could follow this example. 

We believe that states hosting large numbers of refugees and large donor states and resettlement states have a shared interest, namely to broaden the donor and resettlement base. We strongly urge more states to contribute to share our common responsibility.

Chair,

We agree that a global compact on refugees has the potential to mobilize the international community in support of a shared agenda. As we are moving closer towards the end of the formal consultations, we reiterate that global processes and opportunities like the one that the GCR represents, do not come around very often. In this process, states and organizations have exchanged views in a constructive manner. Despite some differing views, we strongly hope we will be able to reach consensus as we do not see the prospect of another global process that could be more suited to help us meet our common goal of predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility sharing.

Thank you!