Thursday, 2 October 2014

H.E. Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs addresses the High Level Segment of the 65th Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee

Geneva, 29th September 2014- H.E. Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs addressed, on Monday 29th September 2014, the High Level Segment of the 65th Session of UNHCR Executive Committee dedicated to “Enhancing International Cooperation, Solidarity, Local Capacities and Humanitarian Action for Refugees in Africa
H.E. the Commissioner for Political Affairs briefed the international community on the most recent refugee trends in Africa, including ongoing situations and emergencies as well as protracted situations in several parts of the continent. She reiterated the commitment of the African Union and its Member states towards alleviating the plight of refugees in Africa despite the numerous persisting challenges, such as conflicts, economic recovery and transformation, reduction in external resources, the threat of Ebola and other diseases, debt crises and the effects of climate change. 
H.E. Dr. Abdullahi emphasized the tremendous contribution of host countries in burden sharing and hosting increasing refugee populations despite financial limitations and other challenges. She called for a meaningful responsibility sharing, where the international community and regional institutions play a greater role in supporting these countries to cope with the security, social and economic and environmental pressures that accompany the hospitality extended.
In addition, H.E the Commissioner for Political Affairs expressed concern over the weak level of mobilization from the international community concerning some very alarming humanitarian situations. For example, several interagency appeals on the humanitarian situation in Central African Republic could not secure more than 30% of needs. She also relayed the call of the AUC for an increased support for the interagency fund raising appeals to address the situation of millions of refugees in countries of origin and neighboring countries.
Finally, Dr. Abdullahi highlighted the importance of a reaffirmed political will that can be translated in global and common commitments by all stakeholders, thus allowing for an adequate protection of refugees, a significant and tangible assistance to host countries and communities, and most importantly predictable and sufficient funding. She also called for a comprehensive approach, at the local, national, regional and international levels, focusing on prevention and on strengthening resilience of affected populations.
At the margin of H.E. participation to the 65th of the UNHCR Executive Committee, Dr. Abdullahi will be received by the African Group in Geneva and will have several bilateral meetings with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Director General of I.O.M., the President of the ICRC, The High Commissioner for Refugees, and the President of the Human Rights Council.