- Filippo GrandiUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Melissa FlemingHead, Communications and Public Information Service Spokesperson for the High Commissioner
Charter a New Country for Refugees
"For several million refugees and a greater number of internally displaced people, solutions are nowhere in sight."
"Six decades after its establishment, the plight of the world’s uprooted people still shows no sign of abating."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
These are sobering direct quotes, and tragic facts from the UNHCR website.
This is a petition to the next head of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Filippo Grandi, to take seriously new solutions for the world's displaced people and refugees through the charter of a new territory or country.
Currently, the UNHCR offers three "durable" solutions for refugees and the displaced. They are:
1) voluntary repatriation from the country they have fled
2) local integration in the country currently hosting them
3) resettlement to a third country in situations where it is impossible for a person to go back home or remain in the host country.
More than 60 million people are currently displaced, yet these solutions, which have been in place for over 50 years, only become a reality for less than 5% of the displaced each year.
Additionally, it has become abundantly clear this summer and fall, that the third solution is increasingly met with public sentiment against it, and it is unrealistic as a complete solution. The reason - it would take each country currently accepting refugees to increase the number of displaced they resettle by 100 times - something that is as unfeasible as it is unlikely.
Robin Cohen, the worlds foremost authority on Refugees from the Oxford Refugee Study Centre has recommended the following actions to make this proposal a reality:
- setting up a temporary UN Trust with a High Commissioner of the stature of Mary Robinson
- protection by the Blue Berets until a standing army can be raised
- a timetable for full control by Refugians show a better way forward
As far as potential locations, the economics of such a new nation that provide both stability and opportunity, and other security measures, these can be found in our full proposal at RefugeeNation.org.
While we are realistic about the complexities involved in this work, we are committed to serious dialogue about real solutions. For 60 years we have been attempting to solve these problems with the same means, and the status quo is no longer acceptable.
Pleas join us in signing this petition today, then you can further help through sharing this petition on Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Blessings as you continue in your deeds and goodwill to the most vulnerable in our world.
Founder, Refugee Nation
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Head, Communications and Public Information Service Spokesperson for the High Commissioner
We are petitioning the UNHCR to take action on additional alternatives to the "durable solutions" that have been in effect for the last fifty years.
With 60 million displaced and less than 5% finding a solution to their plight each year, we propose the UNCHR use its influence and resources to explore the framework for a new charter territory or country that would accept the world's refugees and displaced who choose to resettle - either temporarily or permanently - in this new land.
For further ideas on a new territory or country as a solution, please visit our website, RefugeeNation.org.
For academic engagement with similar ideas, please visit "Refugia: The Limits and Possibilities of Buzi's Refugee Nation" by Oxford Refugee Study Centre's Robin Cohen, "Let Them Come and They Will Build It" by New York University's Paul Romer, and the website RefugeeCities.org.
Due to the urgency of this matter for tens of millions of people, we expect a prompt response and actionable items for moving forward.
These actionable items would include a timeline for a convention sponsored by the UNHCR to bring together the worlds top minds in the public and private sectors, as well as academics and legal experts to collaborate on how new cities, territories, and a country could be a solution to solving the refugee crisis we currently face.
With all due respect to the hundreds of thousands your office is able to assist in finding a home each year, as well as the millions more protected by your efforts, we speak on behalf of the tens of millions more affected by displacement. For them, the status quo of playing the lottery with repatriation, integration, or resettlement are no longer acceptable.
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