Americas Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework
On 26 October 2016, a Regional Conference, hosted by the Government of Honduras and co-organised with UNHCR and the OAS, concluded with the adoption of the San Pedro Declaration, as a regional contribution to the Global Compact on Refugees. Through this Declaration, six countries of the region (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama) have agreed to the Comprehensive Regional Protection and solutions Framework (MIRPS, for its acronym in Spanish) as a commitment to adopt and implement national chapters and the intention to develop regional cooperation and responsibility sharing mechanisms with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. The MIRPS is presented as a regional application of the CRRF and a collective action plan to strengthen protection and promote durable solutions.
A large scale movement of people has been registered in Central America; the reasons for their leaving are multiple and complex, including socioeconomic factors as well as violence and insecurity – mainly caused by organized crime –, and they force populations to move both inside and outside of the region. In recent years, a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers, refugees and other persons in need of international protection has been noted. All countries in the region have been affected – as countries of origin, transit, asylum and/or return; and sometimes all these at the same time – and that is why protection responses have been provided on both national and regional levels. This increase in forced displacement has led to the adoption of numerous commitments such as the 2014 Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action, the 2016 San José Action Statement, and the 2017 San Pedro Sula Declaration in order to strengthen protection and encourage solutions for those affected, addressing the underlying causes through the promotion of a stable environment that guarantees safety, economic development and prosperity. This regional response requires collaboration from other stakeholders, along with support from the international community, to ensure the effectiveness of the responsibility sharing arrangements.
Leadership and commitment to the New York Declaration
Through the San Pedro Sula Declaration, six countries of the region agreed to take part in the MIRPS by confirming their intention to work together to strengthen regional cooperation and shared responsibility mechanisms, while committing to the adoption and implementation of their respective national chapters.
By adopting the San Pedro Sula Declaration, the MIRPS countries reaffirmed their long tradition of regional cooperation in matters of protection and confirmed their intention to work on a regional, practical and detailed application of the CRRF.
The MIRPS: vision and scope
The MIRPS is a process led by the States and based on the regional dynamics and the existing commitments of each country, including those acquired in the Brazil Plan of Action and the San José Action Statement. Additionally, the MIRPS is based on the collective realisation that the region is facing a changing reality with shared elements, challenges and priorities.
The goal of the MIRPS is to make existing commitments operational and to promote new initiatives to address situations of displacement from a comprehensive and regional approach – linked with countries of origin, transit and destination – and involving a wide range of relevant stakeholders on a regional, national and international level.
On a national level, and as a result of extensive consultations with a variety of stakeholders, each country participating in the MIRPS developed a National Action Plan that identifies a series of specific and executable actions within the four pillars of the CRRF in the 2018 to 2020 period.
Therefore, in the spirit of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the MIRPS has the following goals:
- STRENGTHEN the national and international protection systems in all MIRPS countries;
- ENGAGE development actors in the prevention, assistance and solutions of displacement;
- STRENGTHEN shared responsibility mechanisms between the stakeholders taking part in the MIRPS;
- PRIORITISE prevention, protection and solutions programmes for countries of the region in the bilateral and multilateral cooperation agenda;
- ESTABLISH, spaces for coordination, monitoring and the exchange of good practices within the framework of the OAS and other regional forums; and
- DOCUMENT the lessons learned and good practices of this process and other previous processes of shared responsibility, in order to inform the programme of action of the Global Compact on Refugees to be adopted in 2018.
In the declaration, the six countries requested that the OAS – with support and technical assistance from UNHCR – monitor the progress made on national and regional levels in the implementation of the MIRPS through an annual meeting.