Guterres to brief UN Security Council this week, expected focus on climate change

Briefing Notes, 22 November 2011

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 22 November 2011, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, will tomorrow address the UN Security Council in New York on the state of displacement globally, and its causes. According to UNHCR data there are 43.7 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced. This includes 15.4 million refugees, 27.5 million people displaced internally by conflict, and nearly 850,000 asylum-seekers; it does not include people who are stateless, and whose numbers are estimated at up to 12 million or more.

A focus of the High Commissioner's address is expected to be the relationship between climate change and displacement. Drought, famine, desertification, and mass population movement can all lead to insecurity and conflict. In addition, the impact of sea-level rises on low-lying states may become an issue that affects citizenship of people from such countries. The full text of the High Commissioner's statement will be posted at www.unhcr.org following the address and as soon as it becomes available to us for dissemination.