Mar 15, Colombo: The National Policy on Durable solutions for Conflict- Affected Displacement was officially launched by the Ministry of National Polices, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training, Skills Development & Youth Affairs in Colombo recently.
This policy, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was developed by the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development and Youth Affairs, and subsequently adopted by cabinet in August 2016.
The objective of this policy is to provide guidance to the government and to all stakeholders on how to provide durable solutions to conflict affected communities.
Durable solutions are essentially about the protection of fundamental human rights. Whether it be voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement, every refugee, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or returnee deserves a durable solution; a solution that offers a comprehensive package that helps communities integrate back into society.
Speaking on the national policy, the Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern province development, Vocational Training & Skills Development and Youth Affairs, V. Sivagnanasothy, stated "The Durable Solutions Policy must serve as a guiding policy framework for humanitarian and development interventions to ensure that communities are integrated back into society in line with the principle of "leaving no one behind". I want to take this opportunity to thank UNDP for providing the necessary technical assistance to formulate the Durable Solution Policy."
This initiative was supported by UNDP under the European Union funded Catalytic support to Peacebuilding Programme in Sri Lanka which is an 8.1 million euro program implemented by UNICEF, UNDP and UN Habitat in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka.
Addressing the gathering, Resident Representative of UNDP Sri Lanka Jorn Sorensen stated "UNDP is pleased to have supported the Ministry in designing this policy. The Policy lays the foundation for the establishment of a rights-based set of principles and standards to guide all stakeholders working with and for displacement affected communities, in accordance with Sri Lankan and international law. These rights must be respected, protected and fulfilled while IDPs and refugee returnees remain in displacement and at all stages of their search for durable solutions. We are confident that this Policy will make a positive impact on the lives of displaced persons and those affected by displacement."
The event was attended by Government Officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of International/ non-governmental organizations, development partners and representatives of civil societies.