Press Release

High-Level Panel: Maintaining the status quo not an option for millions trapped in displacement

29 September 2021, New York – The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement today released its much-anticipated report, which advocates for nationally owned solutions for more than 55 million people displaced within their own countries.


Shining a Light on Internal Displacement: A Vision for the Future urges Governments to take a “development-oriented approach” to solutions for their citizens and residents displaced by violence, conflicts, disasters and the impacts of climate change.


The Panel presented its report to UN Secretary-General António Guterres at today’s event, calling on Governments, civil society, the international community and the private sector to step up collective action to end protracted displacement.


The report laments “a collective failure” to prevent, address and resolve internal displacement, but it also identifies real opportunities to bring about shifts in the approaches and practices required to end unnecessary suffering.


Secretary-General Guterres said: “For several decades, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the world has been growing, reaching record highs year after year. Humanitarian assistance is vital to help them survive. But more is needed to restore a sense of normalcy and provide solutions.”


The report stresses that IDPs must be able to exercise their fundamental rights and not be seen or treated only as beneficiaries of short-term assistance. At present, IDPs are not systemically integrated in Government policies, development financing, peace processes or UN strategies.


“It is in the best interest of Governments to own this issue, because they cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without improving the lives of all IDPs, from displaced women and children to older persons,” said Panel Co-Chair Donald Kaberuka.


To support Governments, the Panel calls for enhanced leadership from the UN through more predictable and consistent action across the humanitarian, development, peace, disaster and climate dimensions of internal displacement.


To help nations overcome key barriers to solutions, the Panel also recommends establishing a Global Fund on Internal Displacement Solutions.


Panel Co-Chair Federica Mogherini said: “Given the current state of conflicts and trajectory of urbanization and climate change, the time to act is now. Maintaining the status quo is not an option.”


The UN Secretary-General established the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement at the end of 2019 to identify concrete recommendations on how to better prevent, respond to and achieve solutions to the global internal displacement crisis. The Panel’s report is a culmination of extensive consultations that started in February 2020, in which the Panel heard from more than 12,500 IDPs and host-community members in 22 countries and had over 300 engagements with Governments (including city authorities), UN agencies, regional organizations, International Financial Institutions, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, NGOs, private sector leaders, academic researchers and joint initiatives.


The Panel concludes its mandate on 30 September 2021.

The Panel’s Terms of Reference can be found here.

Panel members:

Federica Mogherini, Rector of the College of Europe, former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission (Co-Chair)

Donald Kaberuka, Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, former Finance Minister of Rwanda and 7th President of the African Development Bank (Co-Chair)

Paula Gaviria, Director of Fundación Compaz, former Head of the Victim’s Unit in Colombia and Advisor to the President of Colombia on Human Rights

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation

Nasser Judeh, Senator, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Mitiku Kassa Gutile, Commissioner for the National Disaster Risk Management Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Pauline Riak, Professor of Sociology and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, the Rumbek University of Science and Technology and the Chairperson, Sudd Institute, South Sudan

Sima Samar, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, and former Special Envoy of the President and Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Media Inquiries:

Madevi Sun-Suon
Public Information Officer
Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement
+41 78 814 6141 (WhatsApp)