Beyond Copenhagen: a toolbox for durable solutions

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Samuel Hall
Published on 31 Dec 2015 View Original

INTRODUCTION

"It is not too early to talk about it, but too early to operationalize it" —Aid Coordination Unit, Ministry of Finance, Somalia "Return is defined by the level of resilience. Resilience by sustoinability. Sustainability by development. Let's create those linkages together." — UNHCR Somalia Representative UNHCR is a humanitarian agency working towards durable solutions for Somalia's displaced. UNHCR is also part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) — an integrated mission in Somalia adopted unanimously by the Security Council in 2013. The New Deal in Somalia is the platform for development actors to work together for the reconstruction of the country. How can humanitarian agencies like UNHCR ensure that their voice is heard in shaping development strategies, and their mandate protected in the framework of the integrated mission? Going "Beyond Copenhagen" requires a Toolbox of options available to achieve durable solutions in Somalia — for UN, NGOs and government alike.

The objective is not for humanitarian agencies to enter the development terrain but to ensure proper coordination and a smooth transition between relief and development for Somalia's displaced. UNHCR is an active partner of UN sister agencies, NGOs, donors and government in operationalizing durable solutions.

The dialogue on Durable Solutions and Resilience In Somalia has been steadily progressing. The dialogue needs to mature into a joint venture — one paving the way to another. The cycle is composed of three interrelated processes that link humanitarian with development work:

o Dignified return, reintegration and local integration are all defined by the level of resilience

o Resilience is defined by sustainability, and

o Sustarnabiltty is defined by development response.

The challenge to date has been to find the right "niche" — i.e. the strategic entry points in the New Deal to ensure that durable solutions are not Just agreed to verbally, but put in practice in Somalia. This report identifies these areas. The New Deal's Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) are natural niches for UNHCR's work and contribution to durable solutions. A closer alignment of durable solutions with the resilience agenda is, also, a natural process that needs to be strengthened. As such, this report calls for a pairing of Durable Solutions and Resilience under PSGs a and 5. One does not overshadow the other, and progress made on durable solutions by UNKR is a model to follow for paced progress on resilience.

A second challenge has been to identify the right partners to operationalize Durable Solutions. This report clarifies partnership and synergies that can be realistically built upon to ensure that durable solutions are mainstreamed in the New Deal funding. No one agency can further the goals of durable solutions alone. Operational requirements, funding limitations as well as mandates are constraints on any one agency's capacity. UNHCR calls on a collaborative approach fully taking on board NGOs in this process — as NGOs are operationalizing durable solutions in their day-to-day work and access across Somalia.

The key opportunity lies In existing tools and frameworks for Durable Solutions. These include, at a national level, the Somalia Return Consortium (SRC), a grouping of 9 members across the UN and NGO landscape as well as the input of the Resilience Consortia; at the regional level, the Solutions Alliance for Somalia; and at the global level, UNHCR's Global Initiative on Somali Refugees. These constitute a comprehensive toolbox for policy makers to operationalize durable solutions, as presented in this paper.