GENEVA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on the international community to face up to the devastating and complex issue of internal displacement as he opened the inaugural meeting of a new High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement in Geneva.
Decrying the acute and relentless crisis of internal displacement, the secretary-general urged the Panel to help draw global attention to the issue and catalyze a new and stepped-up effort to find solutions.
"It is unacceptable that millions of people are so brutally dislocated from their home and then linger without solutions for years. Being displaced should not be an interminable problem. I am confident that this Panel will bring fresh ideas to prevent forced displacement, better protect and assist displaced people and identify swifter solutions to displacement," he said.
UN figures have showed that in only the first two months so far of 2020, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced within their countries, adding to the 41 million internally displaced persons globally.
Federica Mogherini, co-chairperson of the new Panel and the former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, highlighted the "terrible consequences" of internal displacement and reiterated the imperative to find lasting solutions.
"Recent displacement and the immense suffering it is creating in places like Syria, the Horn of Africa, DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Yemen are a stark reminder of the urgent need to better deal with internal displacement," she said.
The Panel, constituted by the UN secretary-general in October 2019, includes representatives from government, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and countries particularly affected by displacement.
The Panel will be supported by a Secretariat based in Geneva, and advised by an Expert Advisory Group including some of the most eminent experts on internal displacement.
It is expected to meet four times over the next 12 months, hold regional and national consultations to learn from countries and organizations dealing with displacement and will submit its recommendations to the UN secretary-general by February 2021.