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The Group of Friends of the Platform on Disaster Displacement Meets in New York

On 9 March 2023, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the UN and the EU Delegation to the UN, in their capacity as co-chairs, organized a meeting of the Group of Friends of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) for Member States in New York. This meeting served to raise awareness on disaster displacement ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference and High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Framework Mid-Term Review in New York.

In her introductory remarks, Ms. Joachime Nason, representing the European Union as the Chair of the PDD contextualized the meeting of the Group of Friends of the Platform ahead of the upcoming High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Framework Mid-Term Review, as well as the water and displacement nexus to be discussed at the UN 2023 Water. She highlighted the need for continuous engagement on topics such as data, communication, climate financing and planned relocation.

Mr. Khalid Lashani, representing the Kingdom of Morocco, explained that the PDD Group of Friends aims to strengthen awareness among Member States on disaster displacement.

The Envoy of the Chair, Prof. Walter Kaelin, then gave an overview of the PDD and its work, emphasizing the humanitarian challenge posed by disaster displacement. He noted that the incorporation of a humanitarian-development nexus approach has yielded significant impact and positive effects on the lives of communities affected by natural hazards, thereby promoting long-term resilience. He also welcomed the increased use of aggregated data, which has allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of the needs and vulnerabilities of disaster displaced persons.

According to the 2022 Global Report on Internal Displacement by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), more than 23 million people have been displaced by disasters, with small island developing states (SIDS) being disproportionately affected.

Including Disaster Displacement in the Political Declaration to be adopted at the High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Mid-Term Review

Representatives from Australia, Indonesia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), opened the discussion by setting the scene and putting the issue of disaster displacement in context of the upcoming High-Level Meeting on the Sendai Framework Mid-Term Review scheduled for 18 – 19 May 2023. They promoted action on risk reduction using whole-of-government and triple-nexus approaches to tackle disaster displacement. They also stressed the need to address data gaps, especially regarding the impact of slow-onset disasters on human mobility. Finally, they highlighted the importance of policy coherence to achieve protection for persons displaced in the context of disasters and climate change.

The EU and Morocco, as co-chairs, invited participants to exchange, discuss and identify engagement opportunities to facilitate collaboration and consultation on issues related to disaster displacement and risk reduction.

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 Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) is a State-led initiative working towards greater protection of persons displaced in the context of disasters and climate change. It is currently chaired by the European Union with Kenya as Vice-Chair. The PDD established the Group of Friends (GoF) in 2019 to increase awareness of the topic of disaster displacement, to disseminate information about the PDD and its work and to provide a platform for engagement with States interested in disaster displacement.

The following States and regional organizations participated in this meeting: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ethiopia, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Philippines, Sudan, Switzerland, Türkiye, United Kingdom. CIVIC, IOM, IFRC, Oxfam International and UNDRR were present as well.

Useful Links

Download the Minutes of the Meeting

Read the Terms of Reference of the Group of Friends 

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