Banner of the December Global Forum on Refugees conference | CREDIT: UNHCR
Banner of the December Global Forum on Refugees conference | CREDIT: UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR announced it will hold the first Global Forum on Refugees on December 17 and 18, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first Global Forum on Refugees will take place on December 17 and 18 in Geneva, Switzerland, UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said.

Held at ministerial level, the event will be co-hosted with Switzerland and co-convened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica.

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, is expected to attend.

'An opportunity for countries to take stock' 

"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," UNHCR said. The Forum will be part of the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, which the UN General Assembly affirmed last December.

"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," UNHCR said further.

According to UNHCR, the Forum will bring together governments, international organizations, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, host community members, and refugees themselves. During the Forum and after, there will be new contributions and proposals to advance refugee autonomy and find solutions for their condition.

In a recent interview with InfoMigrants, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said UNHCR would ask participants to "tell us stories of how they creatively and innovatively address" the issue of displacement. Grandi also said UNHCR wanted states and other organizations to "make pledges for the future."

Proposals for refugees at the Forum 

UNHCR said the event will also provide an opportunity for states and other actors to showcase good practices, both at a global level as well as with respect to specific refugee situations.

According to UNHCR, these experiences allow for illustrating that comprehensive responses already exist and can transform 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 on Refugees forward, UNHCR said.

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.

"I hope that it will give us strength, resources, ideas and enthusiasm to continue to address the challenge of displacement," Grandi told InfoMigrants.

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