Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

Letter from Chaloka Beyani, December 2011

LETTER FROM CHALOKA BEYANI — December 2011
UN General Assembly Resolution; Developments in Kenya; World Bank Program on Forced Displacement

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Let me take this opportunity to share with you some highlights of the past month.

A couple of weeks ago the resolution on “Protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons” was adopted by consensus in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. This resolution highlights the adoption of the Great Lakes Protocols and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa and invites African States to consider signing and/or ratifying the Convention. The resolution also, for the first time, recognizes the possible effects of climate change on displacement and calls on my office to continue to explore the human rights implications of disaster-induced internal displacement. As these issues are particular priorities for my work in the coming years, I was delighted to see them included in the resolution and am grateful to the Norwegian government for taking the lead in working on the resolution.

I am also encouraged by developments in Kenya as the government continues working on both a draft law and a policy on internal displacement. These would both be important steps in ensuring that IDPs in Kenya receive the protection and assistance they need and that progress is made in finding durable solutions to bring about an end to displacement.

I also want to highlight the work of the World Bank’s Global Program on Forced Displacement which will organize an important meeting this week in Copenhagen. For many years, this mandate has encouraged development actors to engage with displacement issues; in fact, finding solutions for IDPs often requires the commitment of development actors and I’m encouraged to see the leadership role the World Bank is taking in this regard. I look forward to working with the Global Program on Forced Displacement in the future, particularly in cases where displacement has been protracted.

In the coming two weeks, I will participate in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee in Geneva and will address the Summit of Great Lakes states, meeting in Uganda. I will use that occasion to emphasize the importance of ratification of the AU Convention on Internal Displacement.

As always, I count on many supporters in carrying out my mandate – from governments to international actors to civil society organizations. I am grateful for their efforts on behalf of IDPs and hope that together we can make a difference in the lives of many who have been uprooted by conflict, persecution, human rights violations, and disasters.

Let me also extend my best wishes for the upcoming holiday season to all of you,

Sincerely,

Chaloka Beyani
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons
Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement