Anniversaries are an artificial moment to celebrate or cry. But even in this post-modern era, they provide a logical point at which to review the past before continuing. We are presented with such a moment a decade after the establishment of the first mandate for the Representative of the Secretary-General (RSG) on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
On December 12-13, 2002, the Governments of Austria and Norway, in collaboration with the Brookings Institution-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement, hosted an International Symposium on the Mandate of the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons. The meeting took place at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria.
Convened on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the mandate of the Representative, the symposium was structured around the theme of “Taking Stock and Charting the Future.” The principal objectives of the meeting were to assess the work and challenges of the mandate as well as the progress made by the international community and to explore future strategies at the international, regional, national and local levels for promoting enhanced responses to the global crisis of internal displacement.
The thirty-six participants included representatives of UN agencies and other international organizations concerned with internal displacement, regional organizations, international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), internally displaced persons’ associations, the Governments of Austria, Norway and Canada, and research and academic institutions.