The newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, gathered stakeholders together for a meeting in Geneva to discuss priorities for her next three years with the mandate. Joined by her predecessors, Dr Chaloka Beyani and Professor Walter Kälin, advice from past mandate holders was shared as well as input from a variety of partners, including JIPS.
Highlighting her experience as a human rights activist as well as working on and training practitioners on issues related to internal displacement, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary outlined her approach to the work of her new position and presented her key priorities for the next three years, including both new themes and areas through which to continue the work of her predecessor:
Following the tradition of the IDP mandate, Cecilia’s predecessors shared their thoughts and gave feedback on the plans laid out. This included advice based on the workings of the Human Rights Council, key tools they found useful and different dynamics surrounding internal displacement between Geneva and New York, as well as thematic inputs. Walter Kälin recommended among others to take into consideration displacement affected communities as well as IDPs themselves, as well as to focus on certain aspects of development-induced displacement.
Chaloka Beyani brought attention to the importance of maintaining a focus on IDP specific rights and needs in the midst of broader vulnerability-based interventions that consider also displacement affected communities and urban poverty. He strongly welcomed Cecilia’s continued attention to durable solutions in the face of the current commitment to reduce the number of IDPs by half before 2030, adding that “everything should point to durable solutions and if it doesn’t, then it is pointless; a focus only on numbers is too mechanical.”
Partners who attended the event included states who have long-supported the Mandate and various humanitarian and development partners who work closely with the Special Rapporteur.
Looking forward to continued collaboration with her office, the JIPS Coordinator highlighted the importance of sound data and comprehensive analysis to support each of the Mandate’s priorities and invited input from Cecilia and her team to JIPS’ methods and tools in order support her work most effectively.