UN highlights need to solve growing burden of forcibly displaced Africans

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Some 53,000 Nigerians displaced by conflict are living in the Minawao refugee camp in north-east Cameroon. (February 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


With 24.2 million Africans forced from their homes in 2017  ̶  4.6 million more than the previous year  ̶  the UN is hosting a three-day event at UN headquarters, focusing on finding durable solutions to the problem, which is a growing burden on the continent’s economy, environment and communities which host those displaced.

The 2019 Africa Dialogue Series, (ADS) which began on Monday under the theme “Towards durable solutions for forcibly displaced persons in Africa,” brings together a wide range of actors with a stake in finding ways to deal with the issue, including representatives of national governments, the African Union, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations.

Speaking at the opening session, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the UN General Assembly, commended the contribution African countries are making to strengthen multilateralism.

Ms. Espinosa said that she resolved to make Africa the focus of her activities at the outset of her GA Presidency, adding that she believes Africa’s contribution to the UN is under-appreciated, and that the region’s voice remains under-represented in the international system.

Ms. Espinosa stressed that African leadership “time and time again, has led the way, be it through expanding the definition of ‘refugee’ in 1969, or through the Kampala Convention, the first legally-binding framework to address internal displacement, which was adopted in 2009.”

Africa sets ‘gold standard’ of solidarity and hospitality

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said that by building strong coalitions of stakeholders, the series was an important element in the effort to boost international cooperation. With regard to the 2019 ADS theme, the UN chief paid tribute to the solidarity and hospitality of African countries, many of whom continue to set the global standard:

“Countries like Uganda, Djibouti, Rwanda and Ethiopia are taking innovative action to recognize and promote the rights of refugees. And African countries played a key role in securing the approval of the Global Compact on Refugees last year,” he said.

Mr. Guterres urged delegates to “consider the issue of displacement in the broadest context, in your search for sustainable and durable solutions,” taking into consideration international issues such as the global emergency of climate change, financing for development and universal health coverage.

Deputy Secretary-General and former Nigerian Government minister, Amina Mohammed, told delegates: “You can count on the United Nations to be a strong partner for Africa…ensuring the involvement of youth as agents of change in all conflict resolution and political processes.”

She praised the recent Joint UN-African Union (AU) Frameworks on Peace and Security and Sustainable Development, noting they would “contribute to strengthening our shared efforts to promote inclusive sustainable development and tackle many of the drivers of conflict and forced displacement.”

Ms. Mohammed called for all to “pledge today to keep working together to transform the narrative and transform the future for Africa, its young people and our world.”

Displacement a ‘significant loss of human potential’

Bience Gawanas, the UN’s Special Adviser on Africa, whose office was instrumental in setting up the Africa Dialogue Series, echoed the UN chief’s recognition of African solidarity, in personal testimony shared during her opening remarks: “I, myself, am a product of African solidarity. Having left home in my teens during the war of liberation against apartheid in Namibia, I spent years in refugee camps in Angola and Zambia and benefitted immensely from the generosity of the Angolan and Zambian people. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your big heart.”

Ms. Gawanas said that the ADS is just one of several activities being organized throughout 2019 to raise global awareness of the challenge of forced displacement: “Africa is home to over 24 million forcibly displaced persons, representing one-third of the world’s total. Forced displacement is not only a tale of human tragedy, it also poses a real threat to achieving peace, prosperity and development.”

This, explained Ms. Bience, is because the vast amount of resources spent on forced displacement, which is caused mainly by conflict and natural disasters, divert vital funds away from critical areas with potentially greater impact for sustainable development in Africa; and because it contributes to a significant loss of human potential, with highly skilled and educated people unable to use their skills in meaningful ways: “These are brainpowers that could be harnessed in service of Africa to address some of the intractable problems facing the continent. This is a loss to society.”

A platform for innovative solutions to Africa’s problems

The Africa Dialogue Series was launched in 2018, to promote topics of importance to the continent, such as peace, humanitarian assistance and human rights. This year, participants will discuss innovative ways to enable countries hosting displaced people and refugees, to reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid, and boost their economic development. An expected outcome is an increased awareness of the solutions to forced displacement currently implemented in African countries, showcasing best practice, and giving a voice to displaced people.

Another key aim of the series of discussions, is to secure support from African leaders for the ratification and adoption of major multinational agreements, such as the Kampala Convention, an Africa-wide treaty – the world’s first – that protects people displaced within their own countries by violence, natural disasters or large-scale development projects.

More information about the Africa Dialogue Series, including the programme and side events, can be found here.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The three biggest challenges for India’s future

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

EP President at the European Youth Event: “Your ideas are key in shaping EU’s future”

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

Scientists can lead the fight against fake news

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

LETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN: Elections serve up food for thought, for Afghan youth

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

GSMA Reveals Shortlist For 2019 Asia Mobile Awards

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

What people want – ignore at your peril

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

35th ACP-EU Assembly: migration and demographics will dominate the debate

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

Halting spread of drug resistance from animals to humans: deal with Council

Where does our food come from? Here’s why we need to know

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s