1. A significant increase in the numbers of persons of concern to UNHCR brought new challenges in 2006. While there was a 14 per cent increase in refugee numbers from the previous year, the Office's involvement, together with other humanitarian partners, in protecting and assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) under the inter-agency cluster approach, resulted in a doubling of IDP figures. Thanks to better data capturing, many more stateless people have been identified, also swelling numbers.
2. Despite a plethora of complex challenges, much progress has been achieved in upholding and strengthening international protection in many areas across the world in recent years, notably through sustained efforts to implement the Agenda for Protection. However, as many States increase their efforts to manage migration, the problems of identifying people with a well-founded fear of persecution within irregular mixed migration movements in order to ensure appropriate protection measures remain of particular concern to the Office today. This will be the main focus of discussions at the first meeting of the High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges in December 2007.
3. Evolving partnership commitments, including moves to participate in the United Nations "Delivering as One" initiatives, as well as the increased responsibilities as lead agency for the protection, emergency shelter and camp management clusters in conflict-generated situations of internal displacement, have added impetus to UNHCR's determination to step up its efficiency, performance and results.
4. In February 2006, the Office launched an in-depth process of structural and management change designed to improve its flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of beneficiaries. The overall aim is to streamline and simplify organizational processes, reduce administrative costs and enhance the efficiency of field operations, thus providing better services to persons of concern. Alongside this, new financial and management structures and systems are being set in place to support the overall reform process.