RSIS Seminar on “Mass Movement of Refugees and Migrants: how is the world community dealing with one of the biggest problems of our time?”
About the Lecture:
We have seen in recent times unprecedented numbers of people on the move, either by force or by choice. Many have moved en masse using irregular channels leading often to tragic consequences and threatening the borders of states. For the first time on 19 September 2016 Heads of State and Government came together to discuss, at the global level within the United Nations General Assembly, issues related to migration and refugees. In adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level to manage these mass movements. Will they succeed and how relevant are such global compacts for the crises we are facing in Asia?
About the Speaker:
Ms. Janet Lim is a visiting senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Ms. Lim has recently retired from the United Nations, after a career which spanned 34 years. She joined UNHCR, the UN refugee agency in 1980 and has served in various positions both in UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva and in the field. Her field assignments have included UNHCR’s country and emergency operations in different parts of the world, including Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Western Sahara and Syria. In Geneva, she has served in senior positions which have included being Director of the Emergency and Security Services, Director of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and during her last 5 years, she was the Assistant High Commissioner (Operations). In this latter capacity she oversaw the work of five regional bureaux responsible for UNHCR’s operations globally, as well as two functional Divisions providing support to the field. Ms. Lim has particular expertise in managing complex emergency operations where populations have been forcibly displaced as a result of war and conflict. She has also been closely associated with the establishment of UNHCR’s emergency response capacity and mechanisms. During her career with the UN, she has also been seconded at a senior level to UNAIDS and to the peacekeeping operation, UNAMA, in Afghanistan.