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Røsland's Statement

UNHCR, ExCom 2017, General Debate Norway’s intervention, by State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland 2 October 2017

Thank you, Chair,

Norway shares the concerns expressed by the High Commissioner in his statement.

Forced displacement has reached an alarmingly high level.

The number of protracted refugee situations is extremely worrying.

New large displacements of people in Myanmar are causing increased human suffering and a greater need for humanitarian assistance.

The Rohingyas need urgent help and protection. 

Norway commends Bangladesh for letting them cross the border to safety.

We hope to see an increased role for the UNHCR in the further humanitarian response.

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The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) adopted in the New York Declaration gives us new ways of helping refugees and their host communities.

The CRRF principles are important stepping-stones in the work towards a global compact for refugees.

In order to make the global compact a reality, all states need to step up their efforts.

Responsibility has to be distributed equally and globally.

The burden should not only be carried by the major host communities and top donors.

Chair,

We need to work for durable solutions. Let me give three examples of Norwegian priorities:

1.     Education

Education is a human right for all. Children affected by conflict and crises must not be left behind.

Around 8 % of Norway’s humanitarian assistance goes to education. Giving children in situations of conflict and crisis an education helps to give them a future.

2.     Financing

In order to meet the increasing humanitarian needs, we must look both for innovative financing methods and for more cost-effective ways of working.

Cash-based assistance is one such method.

Giving money directly is more efficient, it preserves the dignity and independence of the recipient, and it stimulates local economies.

We commend UNHCR for meeting its target for increased cash-based assistance in 2016. The use of cash-based assistance should be continued and increased.

In line with the Grand Bargain, unearmarked funding is another Norwegian priority and commitment.

Out of the USD 118 million provided by Norway to UNCHR in 2016, around 40 million was unearmarked.

3.     Protection and return

There can be no durable solution if the rights of displaced people are not protected.

We are all responsible for granting those in need the right to asylum. 

Well-functioning asylum systems include effective methods of returning those who do not need international protection. 

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Chair,

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain a concern.

The New York Declaration refers to IDPs, but there is currently no comprehensive international approach on how to deal with the issue.

Internal displacement affects an overwhelming amount of people.

It is a major risk factor for long-term peace and security.

How we deal with the internally displaced will impact our work towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

If we are serious about leaving no one behind, we must step up our comprehensive work toward reducing and responding to internal displacement.

This will require concerted effort in the UN system and among member states.

In closing,

The conflict in Syria now seems to be entering into a new phase.

We are seeing some returns, despite persistent security risks.

In light of this we underline the principle that return should be informed, safe and dignified and when international protection is no longer needed.

Norway remains committed to assistance of Syrian refugees.

This year we have disbursed around 22 million dollars to UNHCRs work in Syria and neighbouring countries.

I am pleased to announce today that Norway will provide UNHCR with a further 3 million dollars for this purpose.

Thank you.