The Federal Government of Germany, Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, appoints Prof. Walter Kaelin as new Envoy as of 1 July 2017.
The Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) is a state-led process working towards better protection for people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and climate change. It was established in 2016 to follow-up on the work started by the Nansen Initiative, and to implement the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, a toolbox to better prevent and prepare for displacement in the context of disasters and climate change and to respond to situations when people are forced to find refuge, within their own country or across the border. The PDD consists of a Steering Group, an Envoy, an Advisory Committee, and a Coordination Unit.
The Envoy provides strategic advice to the Chair and the Steering Group and represents the Chair in high-level public events while promoting the work of the Platform and raising awareness of the findings of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda at the global and the regional level. He also serves as the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Platform.
Walter Kaelin is professor emeritus for international and (Swiss) constitutional law, University of Bern/Switzerland. He served as Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (2004-2010), as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2003-2008 / 2012-2014) and as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission on the situation of human rights in Iraqi occupied Kuwait (1991/92). From 2011-2015, he acted as director of the Swiss Centre of Excellence in Human Rights. He is also the former Envoy of the Chairmanship of the Nansen Initiative on disaster-induced cross-border displacement (2012-2015) and former legal advisor to the Chair of the PDD (until June 2017).
Prof. Kaelin replaces Mr. Achim Steiner, who served as Envoy since October 2016 and now acts as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator in New York.