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:
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.