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Virtual Conference – 4 February 2021
Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the Endorsement of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda,
the Adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC
France as the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) 2019-2020 with the support of Fiji as incoming Chair 2021-2022 and the PDD Steering Group are proposing to hold a Commemoration to mark the 5th anniversary of the endorsement of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, and the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Concluding the French chairmanship of the PDD, the overall objective of the Commemoration is to take stock of the implementation of these three global policy frameworks and consider opportunities and challenges for scaling up action and policy coherence when implementing commitments in these frameworks to combat climate change, adapt to its impact, address loss and damage, reduce disaster and displacement risks and strengthen the assistance to and protection of disaster displaced persons.
The event which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 4 February 2021, co-chaired by France and Fiji, aims to move forward the agenda of supporting advocacy work on disaster displacement, together with the main partners of PDD and involve civil society and other partners in concrete action and partnerships.
Background for the Commemoration
Based on a pledge made by Norway and Switzerland in 2012, the Nansen Initiative was a bottom-up, state-led consultative process that culminated with the endorsement of the Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (Protection Agenda) in October 2015.
The 109 States that endorsed the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda at the Nansen Initiative Global Consultation welcomed the creation of a group of States and other key stakeholders in Geneva to promote the Protection Agenda at the multilateral level, alongside institutional arrangements with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other relevant organizations in order to strengthen coordination, cooperation and implementation and to further the momentum of the Nansen Initiative Global Consultation. This led to the establishment of the PDD in 2016.
The Protection Agenda and the consultative process leading up to it made a significant contribution to increase international recognition of the challenges of disaster displacement in relevant international fora, in particular by sharing its findings and recommendations and feeding them into key global policy processes. For example, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 recognizes that displacement is one of the most immediate impacts of disasters and calls for enhanced action to prevent and address disaster displacement. Also, in a decision made in Paris, France, in 2015 under the UNFCCC, Parties to the UNFCCC committed to scale up efforts, action and support to avert, minimize and address loss and damage and displacement related to the adverse effects of climate change.
The development and subsequent adoption of the Global Compacts for Migration and on Refugees (GCM & GCR) in 2018 have also provided the international community with additional relevant tools and policy instruments to address disaster displacement, to assist and protect disaster displaced persons and promote integrated and coherent approaches.
The PDD promotes a comprehensive approach to address disaster displacement and by working across policy silos, it is in a unique position to commemorate the adoption of the three mentioned frameworks five years on. In doing so, it places an emphasis on further strengthening policy coherence with regards to managing displacement risks and protecting those who are displaced in the context of disasters. It also seeks to mobilize stronger international support for the full implementation of the available tools to reduce hazards; help people at risk of being displaced to stay; allow and support people to move out of harm’s way; and protect those displaced within their countries or across international borders.
Five years after the endorsement of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, the Commemoration is an opportunity to compare progress made in the different policy processes, examine to what extent policy coherence has been achieved, and reflect and appreciate how far the context and prospect for multilateral initiatives like the PDD has changed since 2015. For example, at a time when current discussions are often framed in the context of the COVID-194 pandemic, priorities may have shifted from climate change action, disaster risk reduction and commitments to assist and protect disaster displaced persons. This changing and evolving context may require new and forward-looking advocacy efforts to advocate for and promote the actual implementation of existing global commitments and agreements on these issues to make sure that disaster displaced persons are ‘’not left behind’’5, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Specific Objectives and Expected Outcome of the Commemoration
The specific objectives of the Commemoration are:
- to take stock of achievements and share effective practices regarding disaster displacement in the implementation of the Sendai Framework; the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC and the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, and
- to identify opportunities and conditions for scaling up advocacy and action and ensure policy coherence across relevant policy and action
The expected outcome of the Commemoration is a Co-Chair’s Summary drawing conclusions on the need for policy coherence and comprehensive, integrated and forward-looking approaches to avert, minimize and address disaster displacement, and presenting recommendations on how to scale up present efforts and effective practices.
Format and Content
The Commemoration will be organized via a virtual platform allowing for pre-recorded interventions if needed and if applicable. Focus of the discussion during the Commemoration will be on integrated approaches that promote policy coherence and sharing of examples of what has worked well, what needs to change and on where more work is needed to scale up action.
The Commemoration will start with a High Level Panel with representatives from France, Fiji, Executive Heads and Principals of the United Nations followed by three technical panels:
- The Role of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC when Averting, Minimizing and Addressing Displacement Related to the Adverse Effects of Climate Change
- Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 to Address Disaster Displacement
- Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda and the PDD – Bringing Together Policies and Action Areas in the United Nations and
Civil society organizations and academic institutions as members of the PDD Advisory Committee will contribute to the commemoration.
Organization and Participation
The Commemoration will be co-chaired and organized by France and Fiji with the support of PDD Steering Group members, the Envoy of the Chair of the PDD, the PDD Secretariat, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The invitation to attend the meeting as participants will be extended to the PDD Steering Group, PDD Advisory Committee, PDD Group of Friends, the States that have endorsed the Protection Agenda in 2015, as well as any other partners from the United Nations, International Organizations, academia, civil society including local and international NGOs etc. that have shown interest in or worked with the PDD in the past.
A high-level opening plenary will be followed by three technical panels composed of representatives from governments, international organizations and civil society, ensuring that a variety of voices will be heard.
Illustration: © Joshua Knowles
WATCH - Recording of the High Level Panel Discussions
WATCH - Recording of the Technical Panel Discussions
Remembering the Protection Agenda - What is Next?
What is the Paris Agreement?
Download the event flyer in English
Download the event flyer in French
Download the event programme
Download the draft event concept note
Read the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda
Read more about the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Read more about the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC
Learn more about PDD’s work in our Workplan 2019-2022: