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In a message to mark the anniversary, High Commissioner António Guterres highlighted the multiple new factors that are causing displacement, such as rising poverty and the impacts of climate change.

14 December 2010: In a message to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Agency, its High Commissioner, António Guterres, highlighted the multiple new factors that are causing displacement that did not exist at the time of agency’s founding or when the major international refugee and statelessness conventions were drafted.

He noted that, traditionally, refugees were threatened by conflict or persecution, but said rising poverty, the impact of climate change and these two factors’ relationship with conflict are becoming the new drivers of displacement. It is estimated that the global population of refugees, internally displaced people and asylum-seekers amounts to 43 million people. In the coming months, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is expected to advocate for strengthening of the international legal framework for dealing with the world’s statelessness and displaced, including increased State accessions to the key refugee and statelessness conventions. [UNHCR Press Release] [UN Press Release]

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