Affaires humanitaires

Statement by the delegation of Algeria First thematic discussion on the Global Compact on Refugees. Geneva, 10 July 2017.

I thank you Mr. co-chair and through you the distinguished panelists for their insightful interventions on past and current experiences.


Some lessons may, in fact, be learned from these experiences which have in common one major element: when there is a genuine political will, tailored schemes have been developed to respond to each specific situation for the best interest of the refugees while ensuring that the burden is shared with host countries to help them pursue their open doors policies.


The New York Declaration and the subsequent process aiming at elaborating a Global compact for refugees (and migrants) stem from the refugee crisis in the Middle East after its geographical impact went beyond this region. Former UN SG rightly described that situation as a crisis of solidarity rather than a crisis of numbers. Thus, we consider that the whole process and its expected results are about finding practical ways and means to enhance international solidarity.


In its 51st meeting (June 2011), the standing committee discussed a document which addressed the impact and the multifaceted costs of hosting refugees. More than 6 years ago, the UNHCR concluded that the time had come for the international community to give greater recognition to the burden incurred by host States. My delegation considers that more than 6 years later, time has come to go beyond the recognition of that burden and to put in place a concrete, predictable and equitable burden-sharing mechanism.


You would recall also that a scoping study on the cost and impact of hosting refugees in developing countries has been commissioned by the High Commissioner through the African Centre for Migration and Society. My delegation would appreciate any substantive feedback before the end of the year regarding the results on such a study, as well as regarding the suggestion made during the aforementioned Standing Committee meeting to ’’establish a working group on host country contributions as a framework for further deliberations’’.


In order to better identify and measure the existing gap between ’’the needed and expected contributions and the concrete commitment to give’’ the issue of the quantification of the contribution of those States is worth addressing. One of the identified gaps, previously discussed, was the lack of a methodology to calculate the cost of the presence of refugees in the host country. My delegation would also appreciate any information on what the UNHCR might do in order to develop and present such a methodology during the informal consultations phase.


Last but not least, the international protection of refugees does not tell the whole story about forced displacement. It is, in fact, of a high importance to address their root causes as well as the urgent need of promoting appropriate durable solutions, based on the specificity and requirements of each situation. You would recall High Commissioner Filippo Grandi saying in his first – and hopefully not the last – briefing with Excom member States, in May 2016, that the solutions part of the UNHCR mandate has been neglected last years and there is a need to bring back the balance between protection and solutions. My delegation considers that time has come to durable solutions to take back their rightful place in the daily work of the UNHCR, including through institutional adjustments.


In this regard, the expected Global Compact must not mark a step back with regard to the importance of the voluntary return as usually the most preferred solution as well as the universally recognized right of return. The latter should be an integral part of the Global Compact and we would welcome any concrete proposal from the UNHCR on what can be done in this respect, including, in terms of advocacy and collaboration with concerned entities.



I thank you.