UNHCR's Strategic Directions 2017-2021



This document describes the challenges and opportunities that characterize forced displacement in today’s complex global environment, and sets out the strategic directions that UNHCR will pursue in the coming five years.

It describes the approach that will shape UNHCR’s work, including its commitment to put people first, to strengthen and diversify partnerships, to work across the entire spectrum of forced displacement, and to provide practical, concrete support to States to secure protection and solutions for refugees, the internally displaced and stateless people.

It elaborates five core directions on which UNHCR will focus – protection; responding in emergencies and beyond; promoting inclusion and self-reliance, including through the engagement of development actors; the empowerment of the people UNHCR serves; and the pursuit of solutions.

The document also describes the institutional changes UNHCR will undertake in order to pursue these directions, and to optimize its responsiveness, effectiveness and institutional accountability.

Given the diversity of UNHCR’s operations worldwide, the elements set out in this document are not a prescriptive list of priorities to be applied across all operations. Their purpose is, rather, to chart an overall course in relation to major global challenges over the next five years.