Geneva, June 25 (IANS) The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said on Monday that the first ever Global Refugee Forum, a ministerial-level event, will take place on December 17 and 18 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event will be co-hosted with Switzerland and co-convened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica and the secretary-general of the United Nations is expected to attend, said UNHCR, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“Refugee situations send ripples across entire regions and beyond,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
“Dealing with displacement challenges cannot be done alone and requires unity of vision and ambition among all countries, coupled with real, concrete action.”
Such action, he said, is the goal of the Global Compact on Refugees and it is what the United Nations will be working towards through the Global Refugee Forum.
With tens of millions of people affected by war, conflict, and persecution, UNHCR said 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 to last December by the UN General Assembly, and the December meeting is part of its implementation.
UNHCR said the Global Compact on Refugees, along with the principle of equitable burden and responsibility-sharing, seeks to improve the global response to refugee situations.
It does this 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,” said UNHCR.
The forum will bring together governments, international organisations, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, host community members, and refugees themselves.