When Former Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller began her career at UNHCR in the 1980s, she said, ‘there was a big move… to put the refugee issue on the political agenda’. What had happened since, she noted, was a politicisation of the refugee agenda.
The impact of politics was evident in all of the discussions at this year’s Kaldor Centre Conference, ‘Refugee Diplomacy: Negotiating protection in a changing world’.
There were compelling insights about national politics, regional progress, global trends, organisational strategies and individual successes. It was challenging, inspiring, frank and forward-looking.
‘For those of us who work on refugee and migration issues, the world as we know it has completely changed,’ said keynote speaker Anne Richard, who served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in the Obama Administration. The text of her address is available here.
But, as Kaldor Centre Director Jane McAdam said, ‘We all know that it doesn’t have to be like this. It shouldn’t be like this… Let’s re-imagine how it could be, with a bit of leadership, commitment, and follow-through.’ Her anticipated Year in Review is available for download here.