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Statement delivered by Prime Minister of Denmark at Round table Discussion: ”International action and cooperation on refugees and migrants and issues related to displacement: The way ahead" on September 19.

19.09.2016  21:54

(check against delivery)

Thank you Mr/Madam Chair,

I warmly welcome this opportunity to discuss possible avenues for joint international action. 

These years we witness immense suffering caused by conflicts and the current large flows of irregular migrants and refugees.

Last year we promised each other to leave no one behind.

It is essential that we give back the hope to people where they are.

Our vision for countries affected by conflict should be the same as the vision we have for all other countries in the world:

A vision of inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Education for all. Job opportunities for ambitious young people. Rule of law and respect for human rights. And women and girls that are free to decide over their own bodies.

It may seem like a remote vision when looking at Syria or South Sudan. But we need to maintain that the vision for the people in these places is not just merely to survive. It is to live full lives. To be free and safe in their own homes.

In the short term, we must step up political efforts and increase humanitarian assistance in order to save lives and alleviate human suffering. Our assistance goes much further if delivered close to the areas of conflict. In such a way that refugees do not have to travel thousands of miles for protection.

But to actually give back the hope to people, we must ensure that humanitarian efforts go hand in hand with development assistance focused on addressing root causes and improving opportunities for jobs, health care and education.

Large-scale displacement has huge social, economic and political consequences in the affected areas. We must help host communities cope. And we must reduce the dependence of displaced people on humanitarian assistance.

Displaced people should be allowed to contribute to social and economic development where they are. Ultimately, the goal must be for refugees to be able to return home and contribute to the reconstruction of their own country.

Therefore we must increase our efforts. But also build new partnerships. That is what we aim to achieve through the Solutions Alliance where we work together with multiple stakeholders to find solutions to displacement.

Affected governments, donors, UN, civil society organizations, and multilateral development banks must join hands. And break new ground in the search for new solutions. 

And we must invite new partners from the private sector to contribute to develop these solutions.

It is a joint international responsibility. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for new solutions.