High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges 2017

Statement delivered by Senior Advisor Stian Nordengen Christensen in the Plenary Session.

Thank you, High Commissioner,

Norway would like to thank the High Commissioner and those participating in this dialogue, including NGOs, private sector representatives, and youth delegates, and in particular the CRRF roll-out countries for taking the lead in improved refugee response and for sharing their experiences.

As we now prepare for the formal consultations, Norway would like to make three brief remarks regarding the Programme of Action.

First, the system may not be perfect, but it is not broken. Over the last months, several proposals for a revised global architecture for refugee response have been floated, including the creation of a new global group or platform. We will measure any such proposal on its potential value added in comparison with existing mechanisms, and whether unnecessary duplication can be avoided. Any new group should not be overloaded with tasks.

Second, we need more resettlement places. The number of states that participate in resettlement work has grown, but is still only 35. We hope that the Programme of Action will include specific proposals for how more states can be encouraged to start resettling refugees, including through some kind of pledging process.

Finally, the principle of responsibility sharing leads to the conclusion that more states need to step up. This is the main challenge that we need to tackle. The programme of action is an opportunity to engage more states. Not through naming and shaming, but through political engagement and inclusion. Norway looks forward to contributing to this.

Thank you.