02 October 2023-
Geneva, Switzerland and online
Internal Displacement Conference 2023
IDMC Internal Displacement Conference 2023
2 October 2023
15:00 - 17:00 CET
Cocktail 17:00 - 18:00
Hôtel Royal, Geneva | Online via Zoom
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s fourth interdisciplinary conference on internal displacement marked the 25th anniversary of IDMC and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. It examined how 25 years of progress can inform action today to overcome the remaining barriers to solutions to internal displacement.
Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council gave the keynote address, and IDMC presented its latest report, 25 years of progress on internal displacement. A distinguished panel of leaders in the field then looked at the circumstances that led to the 1998 Guiding Principles and the establishment of IDMC, including the progress achieved since, before providing insights on today's outstanding challenges and promising initiatives to address them. Robert Piper, Special Advisor on Solutions to Internal Displacement to the UN Secretary General provided closing remarks.
Over 100 humanitarian and development practitioners, policymakers and donors from government and civil society came together at the Hôtel Royal in Geneva, Switzerland, and more than 100 more joined online, for an afternoon of engaging dialogue, new perspectives and making connections with other leaders and experts in internal displacement.
Read the report: 25 years of progress on internal displacement
Welcome and opening remarks
Ms. Alexandra Bilak, Director, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Mr. Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Presentation of the new IDMC report, 25 years of progress on internal displacement
Ms. Christelle Cazabat, Head of Programmes, IDMC
Mr. Trygve Nordby, Former Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council
Mr. Walter Kälin, Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement
Ms. Paula Gaviria Betancur, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs
H.E. Mr. Luke Daunivalu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN in Geneva
Ms. Sumbul Rizvi, Principal Advisor on Internal Displacement, UNHCR
Moderator: Ms. Dawn Vout, Head of External Relations, IDMC
Mr. Robert Piper, Special Advisor on Solutions to Internal Displacement to the UN Secretary General
Hôtel Royal, Rue de Lausanne 41-43, 1201 Geneva
Tram 15 from Cornavain or Nations, stop Genève, Môle
Access via Zoom available upon registration.
Lessons for today from 25 years of collective action
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)’s fourth interdisciplinary conference on internal displacement marked the 25th anniversary of IDMC and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. On 2 October 2023, humanitarian and development practitioners, policymakers and donors from government and civil society gathered at the Hotel Royal in Geneva, Switzerland to take stock of the progress achieved since 1998 and to discuss how to overcome the remaining barriers that stand in the way of durable solutions to internal displacement.
In 1998, up to 25 million people were estimated to be living in internal displacement as a result of conflict and violence alone. At the end of 2022, this figure had grown to 62.5 million people, with an additional 8.7 million people displaced as a result of disasters. This dramatic increase often overshadows the significant progress made in tracking, understanding and addressing the issue, progress that can provide both hope that solutions are possible, and insights for how to make these solutions a reality.
Numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) have been increasing every year since 1998, in part because those who were already living in displacement did not have the support they required to return home or find a new one; and in part because new waves of violence, conflicts and disasters kept pushing more people out of their homes. Part of this increase in the figures is also linked with improvements in the availability and in the quality of information on IDPs – an essential step towards developing effective support and prevention.
This year’s conference highlighted progress in monitoring, reporting on and understanding the scale, drivers, risks and impacts of internal displacement in different contexts and countries. Significant gaps remain in our knowledge of this issue, but promising practices are being implemented by many partners, many of whom shared their experiences for others to learn from and adapt.
Internal displacement has received more and more attention in recent years, including through the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on internal displacement and the appointment of a Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement. Over the past decades, other initiatives have contributed to raising awareness on the need to invest more efforts in resolving this issue, and building capacities to do so at the local, national and global levels.
Laws, policies, strategies and plans on internal displacement have also become more frequent and comprehensive. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement remain the overarching reference. The conference will highlight selected examples of such policies and innovative features that could make them more impactful and relevant to other countries working to address internal displacement.
Solutions to internal displacement also require adequate human, financial and technical capacities. For governments and their partners to address the root causes of internal displacement and its negative consequences on people and societies, they need actionable information to guide this implementation. The 2023 conference identified ways governments and civil society can tackle the data gaps, siloed approaches, short-term responses and insufficient funding that create barriers to durable solutions.
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