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“Displacement in the context of disasters and adverse effects of climate change is one of the today’s biggest humanitarian challenges and its significance will increase in the future”, said Prof Walter Kaelin, Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). He was speaking at the first New York meeting of the Group of Friends of the PDD at the United Nations Headquarters on 21 January 2020. The meeting saw the co-chairs of the Group of Friends, the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Morocco, welcoming representatives of 38 UN Member States and regional organizations.
The Group of Friends was established in 2019 to promote outreach to States who are not members of the PDD Steering Group, but are interested in the work of the PDD, and to strengthen State awareness regarding the protection and assistance needs of disaster displaced persons. It is open to all Member States of the UN and relevant regional organizations.
At this introductory meeting, the Envoy of the Chair provided an overview of the work of the PDD, including the background of its establishment, the conceptualization of disaster displacement, and the work of PDD across silos of global policy processes and events. The EU, as co-chair, proposed ways for States to engage with disaster displacement in general, and the work of the PDD in particular, including partnerships, promoting key messages, regional engagement, and addressing knowledge gaps.
The meeting saw a wide representation of States from Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, expressing great interest and support for promoting the protection of disaster displaced persons and preventing displacement in the context of disasters and adverse effects of climate change, particularly through global policy processes in New York. States also stressed upon the importance of regional processes, the role of international humanitarian and human rights law, and the complex multi-causal nature of disaster displacement.
Following the constructive engagement of States at the meeting, the Group of Friends will continue to meet biannually in both Geneva and New York, with continued involvement in processes and activities addressing disaster displacement throughout the year.
The following States and regional organizations participated in this meeting: Afghanistan, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, CARICOM, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Philippines, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Read about the Group of Friends in the PDD Strategy 2019-2022
Read the Terms of Reference of the Group of Friends here
Read the Minutes of the Meeting here
Take a look at the presentation from the Envoy of the Chair here
Learn more about PDD activities in our Workplan 2019-2022