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UNHCR Standing Committee 69th Session: New York Declaration and the comprehensive refugee response framework

This statement was delivered by the UK at UNHCR Standing Committee 69th Session during the discussion on the follow-up paper to the New York Declaration and the comprehensive refugee response framework on 29 June 2017.

UNHCR's headquarters are in Geneva.
UNHCR's headquarters are in Geneva.

We need new ways of working to tackle protracted crises. The UK is committed to driving long-term approaches to protracted displacement, bringing in more development and private sector finance and supporting basic services and jobs for refugees and host communities. The CRRF needs to drive new ways of working, taking long-term approaches to strengthen livelihoods approaches and economic development. It provides an effective tool to evaluate existing practices and to pilot new approaches to improve the international response to large movements of refugees. The UK supports UNHCR’s efforts to implement the CRRF.

My delegation is keen to see UNHCR act more as a facilitator of the process and allow national host governments to lead and co-ordinate as much as possible. We hope UNHCR will be able to do more to speed up progress in pilot countries, including through closer engagement with a broad range of development actors.

We would like to see a greater focus in CRRF pilots on national systems and programmes. They should first consider delivery which utilises national programmes and systems, followed by complementary systems, rather than develop parallel delivery channels.

Critically the UK wants to see CRRF pilots securing new policies and partnerships which allow relevant national government departments (not only those addressing refugees) and development partners to lead on implementation. We also hope wherever possible national governments should lead the dialogue with bilateral and multilateral partners. Local government should also lead where appropriate on area-based co-ordination. Donors and agencies should support and build capacity of government functions to achieve this. We also want to see more support for the self reliance of refugees, with associated policy change at country, regional and global levels.

Given the ‘pilot’ nature of country-level CRRF activity, the UK would like to see robust monitoring, evaluation and knowledge-sharing mechanisms in the pilots to build the evidence-base.

Finally we would like to see the CRRF and its pilots reinforcing the right to protection for refugees, IDPs and host communities.

To conclude, donors need to support UNHCR at headquarters and in countries where CRRF pilots are underway to ensure the different levels are joined up. Donors can also play a role in bringing together a wider range of partners including the private sector to ensure the Global Refugee Compact results in more effective responses to protracted refugees and the communities that host them.

Published 30 June 2017