After reading UNHCR Autonomy and Mandate Change, written by Alexander Betts, it is evident to conclude that although Bates states that change within the UNHCR has been because of other states, in reality they have been influenced by other international organizations. Although this is his argument, I understand to be evident that although other international organizations inhibit these pressures, it is the states that cause this influential change. Betts believes that although states had been a part of the process, it was in fact other international organizations that have only provided this pressure and the UNHCR themselves have executed themselves a new change in their organization. Betts concludes that international organizations are independent actors and can make their own change. The relationship they have with other IOs is important because they are always at competition with each other and interacting with each other. Although they are at a “vertical” relationship with states, their relationship with other organizations, their “horizontal” relationship is more important.
Now that we have a deeper understanding of where this pressure comes from, it is important to address the issues pertaining climate refugees and if it necessary for the UNHCR to expand its mandate. Over the past years there has been a lot of different climate issues that have risen this question. The biggest problem with climate change is that 12-45 million of people have been displaced because of the slow-onset disasters and many people have been migrating to other countries because they are concerned for their agricultural. Displacement is not just a humanitarian issue but a development issue.
In my opinion, refugees are refugees in any context. It is important that international organizations, the UNHCR takes action and provides the same assistance to these refugees similar to refugees that have been displaced because of a civil war like Syrian refugees. The effects remain the same and it is important that we adjust to these climate changes and come up with solutions on how to make these changes possible and effective like Kalin stated. First providing these developmental interventions, have awarness if there are going to be possible population movements and strategies of how to be prepared for these changes and last develop important instruments that can help manage these challenges.
I agree with Kalin and the steps he is taking to cope with climate change and it is evident that there are other external actors involved with these issues. I do believe that it is the UNHCR’s responsibility to take these actions as well, to maintain their power in the international field to prove its importance.