Forced Displacement: Responding to a Global Crisis

Canterbury Cathedral address on Forced Displacement

Last night I was privileged to address the United Nations Day Peace Service at historic Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, United Kingdom. This is an annual service organised by the local branch of the United Nations Association.

This year, the focus of the service was on the world’s major forced displacement crisis and how to respond to it.  65.6 million people were displaced at the end of last year. Close to a third of those are refugees, and most of the remainder are internally displaced persons. I spoke on how the response to this unprecedented displacement crisis is expanding to use the tools of development as well as those of humanitarian relief, drawing on my knowledge of how UNDP and other development agencies are engaged in creating jobs and livelihoods for refugees, the internally displaced, and their host communities. Sadly, many of the crises leading to forced displacement show no sign of ending – hence the need for sustainable and sustained responses.

Here is the text of my address:

Canterbury Cathedral address on Forced Displacement

The collection from those gathered last night goes to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. It does an amazing job leading for the international community on the response to forced displacement, supported by many other international agencies, governments, NGOs, and citizens around the world.

“The Importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Address to Green Templeton College, Oxford, Foundation Dinner, 30 September 2017

Oxford 2017 Helen at GT College Sat 30 SeptOxford 2017 GTCGreen Templeton College Foundation Dinner Address

I was pleased to visit Green Templeton College, Oxford recently, and to address its annual Foundation Dinner. Improving human well being is central to the College’s educational mission, and many of its activities address how to build more equitable and just societies.

This was therefore an excellent opportunity for me to speak on the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for all countries, rich, middle income, and poor, and to comment on how university communities can support its implementation. The link to my speech is above. I was also pleased to interact with students of Green Templeton College at a separate event.

As well, I was the guest at Oxford University’s Women of Achievement annual event, and was “in conversation” with Moira Wallace, Provost of Oriel College on a wide range of issues:  Here’s a podcast of the event: