GENEVA, Switzerland – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has Monday 24 announced the first ever Global Refugee Forum, which will take place on 17 and 18 December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event, which is being held at Ministerial level, will be co-hosted with Switzerland and co-convened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. Additional co-convening arrangements are being explored and will be announced in due course. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is expected to attend.
With tens of millions of people affected by war, conflict and persecution, the Global Refugee Forum will be an opportunity for countries to take stock of today’s situation and to strengthen the international response. It follows the new Global Compact on Refugees that was agreed last December by the UN General Assembly and is part of its implementation.
The Global Compact on Refugees – in line with the principle of equitable burden and responsibility-sharing – seeks to improve the global response to refugee situations by providing stronger support to the countries and communities welcoming refugees and simultaneously equipping refugees with the means to become more self-reliant. It also aims to increase resettlement spots for the most vulnerable refugees and other legal pathways for admission to safe third countries, and improve conditions in the refugees’ countries of origin.
The Global Refugee Forum is a unique occasion for States and others to come together and announce bold, new measures they will take to ease pressure on host countries, boost refugee self-reliance, and search for solutions.
The Forum will bring together governments, international organizations, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, host community members, and refugees themselves. New contributions and proposals to advance these objectives are expected during the Forum and after.
The Global Compact on Refugees provides a basis for host countries and communities to receive support that is timely, predictable, and sustainable. It enables host countries to tap into additional development cooperation, alongside, and as a complement to, ongoing humanitarian assistance. It also ensures that solutions are front and centre from the outset.
“Refugee situations send ripples across entire regions and beyond. Dealing with displacement challenges cannot be done alone and requires unity of vision and ambition among all countries coupled with real, concrete action. This is the goal of the Global Compact on Refugees and it is what we will be working towards through the Global Refugee Forum”, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
The Forum also provides an opportunity for States and other actors to showcase good practices, both with respect to specific refugee situations, as well as at a global level. These experiences illustrate how comprehensive responses are already transforming the lives of refugees and host communities in many parts of the world. They are also essential for inspiring the international community to develop impactful contributions in the future that carry the momentum of the Global Compact forward.
The first Global Refugee Forum will focus on six areas: arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.