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U.S. Statement to the Pledging Conference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
December 6, 2022

U.S. Statement to the Pledging Conference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 

Statement Delivered by Bathsheba Crocker
Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United States of America to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva

Geneva, December 6, 2022

Thank you, Chair.

I am pleased to express the United States’ support for the 2023 Global Appeal of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and am honored to announce our initial pledge of $200 million toward this appeal.   This pledge demonstrates our sustained commitment to robust support to UNHCR for its efforts to address forced displacement and statelessness.

The past year has demonstrated all too clearly that the international humanitarian system remains indispensable.  Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has wrought untold human suffering.  And as with many of the biggest crises we face, the consequences of Putin’s war, food insecurity and economic instability, respect no borders and must be met with collective action.  UNHCR’s ability to respond quickly this year to deliver protection and assistance to the most vulnerable in the face of record numbers of people displaced by conflict, persecution, and other drivers including climate was possible only because of sufficient, flexible donor support.

The overwhelming majority of forcibly displaced persons are living in protracted situations where coherence between relief and development must be paramount.  We look forward to this week’s High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges as a chance to assess progress on advancing the principles and objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees and meeting our commitment as donors and host countries to provide effective support for refugees and host communities.

As UNHCR is called upon to respond to crises that stem from the impacts of climate change, we see clearly the need for adequate and flexible funding from member states.  Our contribution today reflects the urgent need to invest in responses to displacement that take account of the climate emergency.

The United States will continue to lead the world in humanitarian assistance.  In Fiscal Year 2022 we made some $16B in total contributions.  With this pledge, we reaffirm our engagement in the international humanitarian response for refugees and other persons of concern, including particularly vulnerable groups such as LGBTQI individuals.  In addition, our commitment to reasserting American leadership to resettle refugees has never been stronger with the aim of resettling up to 125,000 refugees in fiscal year 2023.

We will be looking to UNHCR and other governments to partner with us to ensure this durable solution is available to more refugees.

The United States is grateful for the tireless efforts of UNHCR staff, who work on behalf of refugees and others every single day, often in dangerous places and under incredibly challenging circumstances.  We appreciate all that you do.

Thank you.