Displacement, Development, and Climate Change: International organizations moving beyond their mandates

In 1951 in Geneva, at the heart of Europe recovering from a devastating war, states negotiated the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a landmark agreement which offered protection to those forced to flee across borders due to persecution. States tasked the newly created United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with overseeing and supervising this convention. A small office was established in Geneva for international refugee lawyers to advise states and ensure refugee law was adhered to. In that same year, states established another new international organization: the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME). Its purpose was to organize the relocation of thousands of labor migrants from post-war Europe to the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand. To perform these tasks PICMME had a fleet of ships and officers with experience in the mass movement of
migrants across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These two organizations were just the tip of the iceberg of a growing population of inter-governmental organizations, created in the aftermath of World War II.

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