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When asked “Who does not have nationality documents?”, villagers universally responded “me!” at a meeting organized by the Côte d’Ivoire Women’s Legal Aid Association in Olleo, Côte d’Ivoire, home to 3,000 people. With the help of a legal aid organization, these villagers will be able to complete the complex process of obtaining identity papers, which help to prove eligibility for nationality. As documented citizens of Côte d’Ivoire, opportunities for them expand, including owning land and property, pursuing education and accessing state health services. © UNHCR/Mark Henley.

“I urge States to draw inspiration from each other’s achievements to date, to prioritize rapid implementation of their pledges, and to take even bolder action. Statelessness is a solvable problem in a humanitarian landscape in which solutions are desperately needed.”
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

A total of 360 pledges were made. 252 of these pledges were made by 66 States and 108 pledges by 32 international/regional organizations and civil society organizations.

Background on the High Level Segment on Statelessness (HLS) at UNHCR’s 2019 Executive Committee Meeting


On 7 October 2019, the HLS gave States an opportunity to highlight their achievements to date and make pledges to be implemented during the second half of the #IBelong Campaign. International organizations (including other UN agencies), regional organizations and civil society organizations also made pledges. A total of 360 pledges were made. 252 of these pledges were made by 66 States and 108 pledges by 32 international/regional organizations and civil society organizations. Implementation of these pledges will be vital in addressing the myriad causes of statelessness and in identifying and protecting stateless persons pending their acquisition of a nationality.

Today, millions of people are denied their right to a nationality – often struggling to survive, living on the margins of society around the world. © UNHCR/Roger Arnold.

Summary of pledges delivered at the HLS

Expected dates of completion

The vast majority of the 360 pledges received included an expected date of completion (only 65 pledges did not). Over half the pledges are expected to be completed before 2023.

The international/regional organizations that made pledges were:
African Union, Council of Europe, Economic Community of Central African States, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), International Conference of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Latin American and Caribbean Council Civil Registration, Identity and Vital Statistics (CLARCIEV), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the High Commissioner on National Minorities within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The civil society organizations that made pledges were:
Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness (Red ANA), Central Asian Network on Statelessness, Dignity Kwanza, East African Nationality Network, European Network on Statelessness, Fondation Mémoire Albert Cohen, Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, Innovation and Reform Centre, Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, International Refugee Rights Initiative, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Lawyers for Human Rights, Office of the Public Defender of Georgia, ProBono.Org, Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, Southern African Nationality Network, Statelessness Network Asia Pacific, United Stateless, World Council of Churches, World Vision Georgia, and Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children.

Thematic analysis of pledges

The majority of pledges fall within the scope of one or more of the ten Actions contained within the Global Action Plan, which is the framework for the #IBelong Campaign.

Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett Speaks with Activist Maha Mamo about Ending Statelessness

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