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Statement by Mr. Anil Kumar Rai, Counsellor (Humanitarian Affairs) on 1st Thematic Discussion towards a Global Compact on Refugees delivered on 10 July 2017

1stThematic Discussion towards a Global Compact on Refugees
[Geneva, 10 July 2017]

Statement by India

Mr. Chair,

Please allow me to start by congratulating people of Iraq and the forces that had played role in liberation of Mosul, the city which has been under occupation for more than 3 years and has seen mass exodus of people in search of safety. In our view, the best solution strategy is to start the re-construction work at the earliest so that Iraqi people move to their homeland happily and peacefully.

We wish that other protracted crisis situations should also move towards peace building and the reconstruction work should start at the earliest so that displaced people do not look for refuge but return to their homeland, for which they have been waiting for years and in certain cases, even for generations.

We are happy to note that new concessional lending instruments developed by World Bank and the UN for supporting the host communities and countries have seen successful piloting in certain parts of the world and had paved the way for implementation at larger scale. We also welcome new global lending facility launched in New York and designed to external concessional financial arrangements to mid-income countries hosting disproportionally large refugee populations.

We welcome the “Grand Bargain” concepts to strengthen the humanitarian action. We see that few nascent steps have been taken in this direction which has brought welcome outcomes and had made positive impacts on the affected community. Now it’s time for us to scale it up and mainstream the “Grand Bargain” concepts in all aspects of humanitarian action.

We support the concept of Burden Sharing, including relocation of refugees on case to case basis, that too with the consent of the refugees. While doing so, we need to be cautious not to open the path for re-defining the Refugee Convention and its protocol, and in no case diluting the principle of ‘non-refoulment’.

Finally, we may like to point out towards growing trend of increasing the qualification bar for granting of refugee status by adopting of opaque mechanisms. This has led to disqualification of large number of applicants, making them irregular and unknowingly pushing them to greater degree of vulnerability. This approach needs a serious introspection.

Thank you very much Mr. Chair.