UNHCR strategic Direction 2017-2021

Conference on statelessness and citizenship in TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai  Special valedictory address on 30th November 2017

The New York declaration and UNHCR’s strategic Directions 2017-2021 through CRRF (Comprehensive Refugee Response Frame work) is a new global thought of 193 countries and penultimate step to create Global citizenship by calculating human value and empowerment of Stateless migrant and refugees.

By the end of 2015, over 65 million people from their homes by conflict and persecution – up from 37 million ten years ago, and the highest number seen in decades.

South East Asia is worst suffered States for the past decades. In 1971 , Indian Prime MInister Indira Gandhi made world known  Bangla Desh refugees 1,000,000 fed for more than a year by India through people’s participation by contributing 1 rupee as refugee stamp while world was hesitating to help them . India is the reliable place for security and protection of refugees flowing from all sides such Pakistan, Afghanistan,Nepal, China, Tibet, Myanmar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka , Maldives, and Far East Asia and Africa. If there is problem of Plantation Indian origin issue which was attempted to be solved through Shashtri Bandaranaike agreement 1965 the stateless remain in lakhs in both sides. If it is on the basis of Rajiv Gandhi Jeyawardne accord 1986 on North and East Srilanka native Tamils who were internally displaced and crossed Palk strait and live in India for more than 35 years without settling issues world is not ready to help. Myanmar Rohinghia issues China started to look at the issue business and investment  interest on the basis of New York declaration .There is no help from other developed countries which makes India to refrain from signing and ratifying   the UNHCR convention 1954 and Protocal 1961.

Last 62 years  the world has faced lot of issues regarding Refugees and Stateless citizens . UN HCR on the basis of UN convention 1954 and Protocal 1961 had dealt with  human rights and humanitarian issues using the convention and Protocal as the source and touch stone to solve the problems of the human society. If one can go into the experiences of UNHCR it can be said that the focus was on human life protection, security and relief.

In the later part of 20th Century and beginning of 21 st Century world politics and governance has changed towards international economic development through scientific advancement. The institution of WTO and other institutional approach of UN was also on the line of economic development. Hence Refugee and migration of population also is going with the the element of economic development . The New York declaration by 193 countries in 2016 and looking it brought the prism of Sustainable Development Goal give the reflection of such move by sovereign countries.

The topics for discussion taken in this conference has gone deep into the Refugee and migrant of human population in South East Asia . This is very important as now the Europe and Central Europe is facing the problem from theoretical form to practical form refugee , stateless and migrant population.

New York Declaration on Refugees, stateless citizens and migrant population :

“At the UN Summit, the world came together around one plan. Member States have reached agreement by consensus on a powerful outcome document.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale. At the UN Summit on 19 September, 2016 we expect to hear from world leaders about how each country will implement these commitments. Refugees, migrants, those who assist them, and their host countries and communities will all benefit if these commitments are met.”

View the full text of the New York Declaration.

What are the commitments?

The New York Declaration contains bold commitments both to address the issues we face now and to prepare the world for future challenges. These include commitments to:

“Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status. This includes the rights of women and girls and promoting their full, equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions.

Ensure that all refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of arrival.

Prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

Support those countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.

Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purposes of determining their migration status.

Strongly condemn xenophobia against refugees and migrants and support a global campaign to counter it.

Strengthen the positive contributions made by migrants to economic and social development in their host countries.

Improve the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance to those countries most affected, including through innovative multilateral financial solutions, with the goal of closing all funding gaps.

Implement a comprehensive refugee response, based on a new framework that sets out the responsibility of Member States, civil society partners and the UN system, whenever there is a large movement of refugees or a protracted refugee situation.

Find new homes for all refugees identified by UNHCR as needing resettlement; and expand the opportunities for refugees to relocate to other countries through, for example, labour mobility or education schemes.

Strengthen the global governance of migration by bringing the International Organization for Migration into the UN system.”

What will happen next?

The New York Declaration also contains concrete plans for how to build on these commitments:

Start negotiations leading to an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018. The agreement to move toward this comprehensive framework is a momentous one. It means that migration, like other areas of international relations, will be guided by a set of common principles and approaches.

Develop guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations. These guidelines will be particularly important for the increasing number of unaccompanied children on the move.

Achieve a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees by adopting a global compact on refugees in 2018.

At the global level,there has been an appetite for new approaches that go beyond traditional humanitarian action,and a realization that forced displacement is not just a humanitarian but also a political and a development challenge.Several recent high-level initiatives to promote international solidarity provide grounds for hope that more positive and comprehensive approaches to the tragedy of forced displacement may yet be within reach.



3. Include



Making it work

Ensure that global support for the Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024 gives impetus to the protection of Stateless people, and yields concrete results in terms of the prevention and reduction of statelessness”

UNHCR’s strategic Directions 2017-2021

One another recent proposal by China on Myanmar refugees flooding Bangladesh and India is reflection of New York decleration and CRRF .

The proposal involves a cease-fire, repatriation of refugees from neighboring Bangladesh and talks for a long-term solution to improve economic prosperity in the northern Burmese state of Rakhine, where the Rohingya are largely based. As one of Myanmar’s poorest provinces, Rakhine is also the site of a special economic zone currently being built by a China-led consortium.

Based in Kyaukpyu, one of Rakhine’s major towns, the zone includes a $7.3 billion deep sea port, oil and gas pipelines that will run from Rakhine’s coast to China’s Yunnan province and a $2.3 billion industrial park.

It’s not unusual for Beijing to intervene in Burmese domestic affairs — China has previously played a mediating role in Myanmar’s Kachin and Shan states, areas also struck by ethnic strife. But the Asian giant’s latest diplomatic initiative has a clear business agenda, analysts said.

“It is fair to say that commercial interests are at play, China has significant investments in Rakhine state, the center of the crisis,” said Nick Marro, China analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Covering more than 4,000 acres, the Kyaukpyu special economic zone — a key component of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure network — was initially established in 2013 as a joint venture between both governments. The zone’s close proximity to the violence in Rakhine, however, has likely worried Chinese officials concerned about potential disruptions to

ongoing construction.

Speaking in the capital city of Naypyidaw ,Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing hoped for smooth progress of the peace process “more than any other country,” according to an English statement on the foreign ministry website.

To conclude one can understand that the world has now shifted the focus on civil and political,human rights to social and cultural human rights in last four decades while this decade they focus on economic human rights. Hence TISS and India UNHCR should make these discussion in conference as part of UNHCR Annual Report 2018.

Dr E.M.Sudarsana Natchiappan

Dr E M Sudarsana Natchiappan MA.,ML(USA),PhD

President Indian Society of International Law,New Delhi

Former Union Minister  of State for Commerce and Industry

Sr Lawyer Supreme Court of India

3F, White House, 10 Bhagwan Das road,

New. Delhi 110001

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