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Photo: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Recommendation 1: Make solutions a nationally owned, whole-of-government priority

More specifically:

→ 1.1. States are urged to acknowledge IDPs and situations of internal displacement and ensure that action to address displacement is a national priority, recognizing it as both a duty of the State to its citizens and residents and a critical step for development, peace and prosperity.


→ 1.2. States should adopt a development-oriented approach to internal displacement, including by systematically integrating internal displacement into national and local development plans and the plans of relevant ministries, and by reporting on how their national development efforts address the rights and needs of IDPs in their Voluntary National Reviews.


→ 1.3. States must recognize that internal displacement is likely to be increasingly an urban phenomenon and should support local authorities to address it deliberately as part of urban planning, including in spatial planning, and make full use of the cities’ resources, infrastructure and capacities to contribute to solutions.


→ 1.4. States should address displacement in peace processes, include IDPs of all ages, genders and diversities in associated dialogues and should promote compensation, restitution, transitional justice and social cohesion initiatives as part of the recovery process.


→  1.5. States are encouraged to work with IDPs, host communities, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, the UN, NGOs and international financers to develop dedicated solutions strategies and costed operational plans.


→ 1.6. States should institutionalize a whole-of-government approach to addressing internal displacement, support local and municipal authorities and establish clear mechanisms for coordinating action across all relevant parts of government.


→ 1.7. States should work with the UN Resident Coordinator to put in place a mechanism for coordinating with relevant international and local actors, including representatives of displaced and host communities.


→ 1.8. States should adopt and implement laws and policies on internal displacement in line with human rights.


→ 1.9. States are urged to allocate funds for solutions from domestic budgets, including to support local and city authorities, and ensure that funding allocations are based on current regional and municipality population figures (including IDPs) and the distinct service needs of IDPs.

Recommendation 2: Political will is key and should be catalysed

More specifically:

→ 2.1. Local and national actors, both within governments and in civil society, should drive change and bring attention to displacement, cultivate public pressure for action and hold leaders accountable for addressing internal displacement.


→ 2.2. Regional organizations should adopt relevant legal and policy frameworks on internal displacement and work towards their implementation.


→ 2.3. Regional organizations, with the support of other relevant actors, should facilitate predictable opportunities for State-to-State engagement on internal displacement, where States can present their achievements, exchange their experiences and learn from each other.


→ 2.4. Representatives of the UN, States, regional organizations, NGOs and financing institutions should strengthen their diplomacy with States on internal displacement, particularly to advocate for solutions.


→  2.5. The UN Secretary-General should strengthen the UN’s diplomacy and advocacy by appointing a Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Solutions to Internal Displacement to provide continuous engagement with States on solutions.


→ 2.6.  The UN Secretary-General is encouraged to produce an annual report on the State of Solutions to Internal Displacement that documents positive steps taken to resolve displacement as well as areas where improvements are still needed.


→ 2.7.  The UN should work to enhance States’ access to predictable technical support by providing expert capacity to Governments and streamlining technical assistance from the UN, including by using the SRSG’s office as an entry point for requests.


→ 2.8. National and, where relevant, international legal authorities should investigate and prosecute those who forcibly displace populations or commit other violations of International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Criminal Law that contribute to displacement.

Recommendation 3: Ensure the whole of society is invested

More specifically:

→ 3.1. States and other actors should recognize the rights and agency of IDPs to drive their own solutions and seek to understand and promote IDPs’ capacities more deliberately.


→ 3.2. States and other actors must implement measures to ensure IDPs can exercise their rights to participation, including voting and participating in general community, governmental and public affairs as citizens and residents of their country, as well as in decision-making processes related to displacement specifically (e.g. through consultative bodies and community-based planning).


→ 3.3. States, the UN, NGOs and donors must take steps to ensure meaningful participation, representation, and leadership of local and national civil society actors as key partners in strategic planning and responses and strengthen their capacities by providing technical and financial support.


→ 3.4. The media is urged to proactively report on and give visibility to internal displacement, with a particular focus on sharing human stories that help cultivate a culture of tolerance, understanding and peaceful coexistence; Governments are called upon to allow them to do so without undue interference.


→ 3.5. Efforts should be made to create, expand and support networks of researchers working on internal displacement, particularly in displacement-affected countries and the Global South, including by strengthening donor investments in the universities, think tanks and initiatives that support these efforts.


→ 3.6. Civil society groups, teachers and community leaders, among others, should seize all opportunities to build understanding and awareness of issues related to the prevention and resolution of situations of internal displacement.

Photo: OCHA/Ivo Brandau

Recommendation 4: Make better use of the capacities of the private sector for solutions

More specifically:

→ 4.1. Private sector actors are urged to seek out opportunities for engagement where they can contribute to solutions to internal displacement.


→ 4.2. Governments and financers should create business-friendly environments by adopting policies and regulations that can incentivize private sector engagement, including through the use of public-private partnerships, social impact bonds, blended finance or insurance mechanisms to lower the risk of investing and operating in internal displacement contexts.


→ 4.3. Governments,private sector actors, financers, the UN and NGOs should work together to establish national and local private sector platforms to share knowledge and create opportunities for strengthened partnerships and private sector engagement.


→ 4.4. Committed private sector actors should volunteer to serve as champions at the national or global level on engagement in internal displacement settings, and global platforms like the World Economic Forum should provide space for private sector actors to showcase good practices and make commitments to action.


→ 4.5. Donors and humanitarian and development organizations should commit to sourcing products from the local private sector whenever possible.


→ 4.6. The UN and NGOs should invest in building their understanding of the private sector, including by recruiting individuals with private sector backgrounds.

Recommendation 5: Make the UN fit for purpose and accountable for solutions

More specifically:

→ 5.1. The Secretary-General should formalize the role of Resident Coordinators to lead UN efforts on solutions at country level, including by incorporating the associated responsibilities into their Terms of Reference and performance assessments.


→ 5.2. Relevant UN agencies, NGOs and donors should provide Resident Coordinators with capacity to support their leadership role on solutions, including by stepping up to serve as a ‘Coalition of Champions’ on solutions at county level.


→ 5.3. The Resident Coordinator should ensure an appropriate mechanism is in place to coordinate efforts towards solutions, including for joint analysis and the development of a solutions strategy and costed plan, and should ensure that solutions are included in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and associated processes.


→ 5.4. The Secretary-General should formally and unequivocally communicate his expectation that UN development actors step up their engagement on IDP solutions and recognize this as essential to their work on the SDGs.


→ 5.5. The Secretary-General should set out clear expectations for all parts of the UN system on solutions and require relevant UN agencies and entities (humanitarian, development, peace, and disaster/climate change) to outline institutional plans for how they will build internal capacities and step up their engagement on solutions.


→ 5.6. The Secretary-General should appoint an SRSG on Solutions to Internal Displacement to provide high-level leadership inside and outside of the UN on solutions and drive change across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.


→ 5.7. UN agencies and NGOs should incorporate action on internal displacement in individual performance assessments and the Secretary- General should use independent evaluations to assess UN responses on internal displacement at country level.

Recommendation 6: Harness international financing for solutions

More specifically:

→ 6.1. Donors should provide funding as locally as possible and support municipal authorities and local civil society actors to strengthen their institutional capacities.


→ 6.2. Development financers should systematically include solutions for internal displacement within fragility financing and articulate a concrete plan for how they will ensure more predictable institutional engagement on internal displacement.


→ 6.3. In line with the OECD DAC Recommendation on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, financers should ensure that their resources contribute to a joined-up approach to solutions.


→ 6.4. The UN, in particular the Peacebuilding Fund and Central Emergency Response Fund, bilateral donors and IFIs should scale up their engagement on solutions and actively pursue opportunities for complementary funding across the humanitarian-development nexus.


→ 6.5. Donors, with the engagement of displacement-affected States, the UN, civil society and the private sector, should establish a Global Fund on Internal Displacement Solutions to provide financial and technical support to national solutions plans and strategies, promote performance monitoring and accountability, and incentivize transformational change that enables nations to overcome key barriers to solutions.

Photo: OCHA/Anthony Burke

Recommendation 7: Strengthen the effective use of internal displacement data

More specifically:

→ 7.1. Governments should recognize data and evidence as critical to the design of effective policies, operational plans and responses to internal displacement and commit to an evidence-based approach to action.


→ 7.2. Governments should put in place processes and systems to collect, analyse and manage internal displacement data and, when necessary, be supported with financial and technical assistance to do so.


→ 7.3. All actors should prioritize the protection of sensitive data and ensure that their operations and systems are guided by strong data protection standards.


→ 7.4. Governments should provide space for international actors to collect and analyse data necessary for their operations.


→ 7.5. Country-specific internal displacement data working groups should be established, led or co-led by Governments where possible, to coordinate data collection and analysis between relevant data actors and to set out a strategy that outlines the priorities of each actor at different stages of the displacement cycle.


→ 7.6. International donors should increase financial support to in-country data efforts as well as to global-level efforts to better understand internal displacement trends.

Recommendation 8: Address the drivers of displacement and reduce displacement risks

More specifically:

→ 8.1. To prevent conflicts and violence from occurring in the first place and reduce risks of conflict-induced displacement, States and, at global level, the Security Council, should demonstrate genuine political leadership and renewed commitment to a rights-based order that puts humanity first; further, they should recognize that with sovereignty comes responsibility and work collectively to end cultures of impunity that allow rights violations to persist unchecked.


→ 8.2. When there are early signs of conflict, renewed violence or threats to civilians, the UN, States and mediators should rapidly mobilize to support de-escalation, political negotiation and conflict resolution, and systematically address internal displacement as part of these efforts.


→ 8.3. States should adopt policies to mitigate civilian harm in armed conflicts and integrate the prevention of forced displacement explicitly in laws, manuals and training of armed forces.


→  8.4. The UN should mobilize and use its full weight to confront threats to civilians, including by ensuring senior staff across all parts of the system are trained and held accountable for taking action when there are widespread rights violations or civilians are under threat.


→ 8.5. States must take immediate action to prevent a further worsening of the global climate crisis, including by reducing their emissions in line with the Paris Agreement targets and working in solidarity with poorer nations to support them in preparing for the impacts of climate change – including displacement.


→ 8.6. States should ensure that laws, policies, strategies and action on disaster management and disaster risk reduction address displacement risks (including the possibility of protracted displacement) more explicitly and proactively, including with consideration for how risks intersect, overlap and are compounded by broader societal challenges.


→ 8.7. Financers should dramatically scale up funding for displacement-sensitive climate adaptation interventions, including through channels like the Green Climate Fund, with a focus on countries at greatest risk and those already experiencing displacement linked to climate change.


→ 8.8. Financers should better utilize forecast-based financing and other anticipatory financing tools that enable greater preparedness for crises.


→ 8.9. States should invest in resilience-building measures, such as micro-insurance schemes and social safety net programmes, that help populations to better cope with the adverse effects of climate change and protect their livelihoods, and should give particular attention to the needs of indigenous persons, pastoralists, and others with a special attachment to their lands.


→ 8.10. Where no alternatives exist to mitigate the risk of harm and displacement, States should facilitate migration out of areas at high risk or undertake planned relocation with the consent and participation of affected communities.


→ 8.11. Donors and Governments should invest in community-based prevention and preparedness initiatives, including early warning mechanisms and interventions that draw on local and indigenous knowledge.

Recommendation 9: Strengthen the quality of protection and assistance to IDPs and host communities

More specifically:

→ 9.1. National Governments should prioritize protection and humanitarian assistance in broader decision-making and budgetary allocations, and be proactive in consulting IDPs of all ages, genders and diversities about their needs and concerns.


→ 9.2. Where State capacities are overwhelmed, States should facilitate space for humanitarian actors to deliver neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection without undue interference.


→ 9.3.  In cases where humanitarian access is unduly restricted or denied, the UN and donor States should proactively advocate with the Government and hold it accountable through mechanisms such as the UN treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review and, in particularly serious cases, the Security Council.


→  9.4. The UN Security Council should explicitly include protection of IDPs in mandates of Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions and should hold troop- and police-contributing countries and mission leadership accountable for fulfilling these functions.


→ 9.5. The UN Secretary-General and ERC should formally reaffirm that Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the specific needs of IDPs are identified and responded to in a comprehensive and coordinated manner during the humanitarian response.


→ 9.6. The UN Secretary-General should commission an independent review of the humanitarian system in contexts of internal displacement and, based on its findings, the IASC should update its policy and operational guidance on responding to internal displacement to ensure a more predictable response to the specific needs of IDPs.


→ 9.7. Humanitarian actors should lay the foundation for solutions for internal displacement as early as possible and ensure Humanitarian Response Plans outline how the response will create a pathway to solutions.


→ 9.8. Humanitarian responses should, as far as possible, invest in working with and through local systems and structures rather than creating parallel systems for service delivery.


→ 9.9. Donors should continue to strengthen humanitarian financing by working towards implementation of the Grand Bargain commitments and by creating exemptions for humanitarian actors in anti-terrorism legislation to reduce impediments to humanitarian operations.

Photo: UNHCR/Ruben Salgado Escudero

Recommendation 10: Sustain momentum and ensure robust follow-up

More specifically:

→ 10.1. The UN Secretary General is urged to provide strong leadership for follow-up of the Panel’s report and for embedding internal displacement as a priority issue across the United Nations and globally.


→ 10.2. All actors should be proactive and resolute in moving forward with the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations that specifically relate to them.


→ 10.3. At national level, States, with the support of UN Resident Coordinators, should convene a meeting of relevant high-level of officials and experts to develop a plan for domestic application of the Panel’s recommendations.


→ 10.4. Regional organizations should convene a regional ministerial summit to discuss how the Panel’s recommendations will be taken forward within the respective regions.


→ 10.5. A High-Level Event on Internal Displacement should be convened at which States and other actors make commitments on internal displacement in light of the Panel’s report and recommendations.


→ 10.6. The Secretary-General should establish a small ‘Coalition of Champions’ from across the humanitarian, development, peace, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation communities to support follow-up and other relevant action in light of the Panel’s recommendations.

→ 10.7. Member States should maintain the Panel’s ‘Group of Friends’, reconfigured and renamed as necessary, to support the momentum and follow-up on the Panel’s recommendations.


→ 10.8. Bilateral development donors,IFIs and the OECD should convene a contact group dedicated to supporting the integration of internal displacement within development financing approaches.


→ 10.9. The Secretary-General should establish a Private Sector Advisory Board to help engage the private sector as part of solutions.


→ 10.10. The UN General Assembly should designate a World Internal Displacement Day each year in April to coincide with the anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.


→ 10.11. The Secretary-General should publish an annual State of Solutions to Internal Displacement Report that tracks progress against the overall shifts described in this Panel report and that captures positive steps actors have taken to address internal displacement as well as the challenges and barriers that persist.


→ 10.12. The Secretary-General should establish in his office a small secretariat or other appropriate mechanism to ensure continuing overall administrative coordination, monitoring, reporting on and dissemination of information on the implementation of our report and recommendations.