Following on from the Protection Dialogue on internally displaced persons (IDPs) convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva from December 11-12, 2013, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, in cooperation with the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, invited a range of stakeholders to come together to look at developments since the November 2012 stocktaking meeting hosted by the Special Rapporteur and Brookings. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the High Commissioner’s dialogue, and to discuss the following questions:
- Has the situation of IDPs improved over the course of the past year? Has the international community’s response gotten better?
- What progress has been made on the two joint priorities identified at the November 2012 stocktaking meeting – support for the African Union (AU) Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) and encouraging durable solutions to displacement, particularly through the engagement of development actors?
Participants also reflected on the future of the IDP mandate. This brief report summarizes the key ideas, concerns and recommendations explored during this discussion. In particular, the discussion underscored the continued importance of the priorities established at the November 2012 meeting, and the ongoing need to devote concerted effort to advancing them, alongside strengthened responses to the crises unfolding in countries such as Syria and the Central African Republic.
 The discussion followed Chatham House rules. Accordingly, the ideas expressed in this report are not attributed to particular individuals or institutions. The conveners would like to express their thanks to the government of Switzerland for their assistance in supporting the event, and the volunteer moderators who facilitated the discussion.
On December 13, the Project on Internal Displacement held a meeting to discuss internal displacement developments and the Protection Dialogue on internally displaced persons convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
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[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.