Chris Nash
Chris Nash
Director and Co-Founder, European Network on Statelessness

Why the Global Alliance and why together?

*This piece is an extract from a filmed interview conducted in December 2023.

Ten years ago, statelessness was almost invisible, despite the scale of the problem and the devastating impact. Millions of people worldwide were (and still are) living without a nationality. Thanks to UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign and the efforts of civil society, statelessness is now firmly on the agenda. But we need to launch the Global Alliance now to catch and continue that momentum. I think that is critically important.

At its heart, the Global Alliance is about convening, catalyzing, and capacitating. That is exactly what we at the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) do as a civil society network working to address statelessness in Europe. We bring together our member organizations and stateless activists in 40 European countries as a catalyst for change and we help build their capacity to take action.

As a member of the Global Alliance Taskforce, it has been an honour to help set up the foundational elements of the Global Alliance, its mission statement, terms of reference and modalities of working. I am now really excited to continue to be part of the Global Alliance and to translate these ideas into action.

Firstly, I think the Global Alliance is a critical opportunity to put stateless people at the centre and ensure that they can claim power as leaders of change. Secondly, I am really excited by the opportunity to share our learning and expertise with sister networks and partners in other regions, as well as to learn from them. For example, through regional network labs. And thirdly, I think the Global Alliance is a critical opportunity to attract donors to this cause. Without adequate resourcing we won’t be able to translate our ambitious ideas into action.

At ENS, we often say that we are only as strong as our members and the same is true for the Global Alliance. Only by pulling together all relevant stakeholders in a committed and collaborative spirit, will it be possible to achieve the ambitious goal of ending statelessness. Only by adopting a truly multi-stakeholder approach can the Global Alliance put in all the know-how, experience and resourcing necessary to achieve its objectives.

Ultimately, statelessness is a human-made problem, which means that we as people and in our professional capacities have the power to change it. In that respect, it is different from some other existential challenges facing humanity. And I don’t mean that in a naive way, or to underestimate the challenge involved, but I think working on statelessness as an issue does offer hope. Because change is achievable, and it is in sight. Working together in a collaborative way and with sufficient buy-in from the UN, governments, and donors, I really believe that the Global Alliance can make a significant contribution towards ending statelessness.

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Karina Ambartsoumian-Clough
Karina Ambartsoumian-Clough
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Kareen Jabre
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