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Joint Nordic Statement to the Third Committee

Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Refugees 

Statement by Denmark on behalf of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden)

30 October 2019

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries.

While we warmly welcome the annual report of the High Commissioner for Refugees, we express regret that we are witnessing record levels of forced displacement and that durable solutions are few and far between.

In these challenging times, you can rest assured of the Nordic countries deep commitment to UNHCR and its mandate to offer protection and seek durable solutions for those – who through no fault of their own – are forced to flee.

The Nordic countries remain among the strongest supporters of UNHCR, also in financial terms. You can continue to count on us, not least when it comes to un-earmarked funding. We believe that un-earmarked funding is crucial to allow UNHCR to respond flexibly and efficiently to both protracted and emerging forced displacement situations.

Given the Nordic countries strong support for UNHCR, it has been the privilege of Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden to facilitate the negotiations of the UNHCR Omnibus resolution for five decades. The resolution supports the humanitarian and non-political mandate of UNHCR.

Let me now turn to the Global Compact on Refugees; Nordic countries believe the GCR represents a unique opportunity for the international community to ensure a much-needed improvement in the response to large forced displacement situations and we remain firmly committed to its implementation.  There is a need to step up with crucial additional development funding for host countries with the aim of translating the principle of burden- and responsibility sharing into action - to the benefit of both refugees and host communities.

Nordic countries thus look forward to contribute substantially in various ways at the Global Refugee Forum this December.

Chair, High Commissioner, Distinguished delegates

Nordic countries  welcome UNHCR’s continuing efforts towards being fit for the tasks that face the organization. This includes the ongoing regionalization of the bureaus, which will help bring decision-making closer to affected populations. We support these efforts – and also see them in light of the Grand Bargain, the UN Development Reform and – not least – as part and parcel of a successful implementation of the GCR.

High Commissioner, as you highlight in your report, towards the end of 2018, 41,3 million were internally displaced. This is indeed a worrying trend. In this light, we want to emphasize the crucial importance of the Secretary General’s establishment of a High-level panel for Internal Displacement.

As regards protection, we support UNHCR’s important work to prevent and mitigate SGBV which disproportionately affects women and girls. We also recognize that men and boys as well as LGBTI individuals can be survivors of SGBV. We underline that access to sexual and reproductive health services, remains an integral part of an appropriate response to SGBV.

We are pleased that the inclusion of persons with disabilities from the start of a comprehensive refugee response is well recognized in the GCR.

We would like to ask the High Commissioner a general question and a more specific question:

First:

  • How can member states best ensure a good outcome of the Global Refugee Forum, including an Age, Gender and Diversity sensitive approach?

Second;

  • How does UNHCR see the establishment of the High Level Panel on internal displacement and how will UNHCR engage?

I thank you.

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