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Past Event

Internal displacement: Lessons learned after 20 years and challenges ahead

Past Event

Internal displacement: Lessons learned after 20 years and challenges ahead

On June 26, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a culminating event to look back on over 20 years of ground-breaking accomplishments and identify future challenges for working on issues of internal displacement. This is a remarkable story of how international law was made and the humanitarian world changed through the collaboration between an independent U.N. expert and a U.S. think-tank, supported by international lawyers, governments, NGOs, and academics. Speakers included key actors in putting internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the international agenda, including Francis Deng, Walter Kälin, and many others.

Martin Indyk, executive vice president of the Brookings Institution, provided opening remarks. Roberta Cohen, nonresident senior fellow and founding co-director of the Project on Internal Displacement moderated the first panel and Elizabeth Ferris, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, moderated the second panel.

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Opening remarks

Panel 1: What lessons can be drawn from the work of the U.N. special rapporteur and the Brookings project over the past 22 years?


Robert Goldman

Professor of Law - American University, Washington College of Law


Shelly Pitterman

Regional Representative - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Panel 2: What are the principal challenges facing IDPs in the years ahead?


Niels Harild

Displacement Development Specialist - The World Bank

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