The first-ever Global Refugee Forum meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland
- The Forum, jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, and the government of Switzerland, aims to debate and discuss the response of the world’s countries to the global refugee situation.
- It is guided by the Global Compact on Refugees which emerged from the New york Declaration for Refugees and migrants in 2016(adopted by UN).
Pledges of the Forum
- It calls for Global Refugee Forums to be held every four years. The second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled for late 2023.
- The substantial commitments they made included school places for refugee children, new government policies, resettlement, clean energy, infrastructure and better support for host communities and countries.
- The private sector accounted for the widest range of commitments, with strong support for providing job opportunities for refugees, according to UNHCR.
- Business groups pledged $250 million, while at least 15,000 jobs will be made available to refugees as will some 125,000 hours per year of free legal aid.
- Additionally, several countries-of-origin made commitments relating to the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees and other displaced communities.
- Indicators have been established to track progress and assess success, for example in jobs created, school places and reduction of poverty levels.
Significance of the forum
This Forum is an opportunity to attest collective commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees and rally behind the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind
A Brief note on Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes
- The primary purpose at UNHCR is to safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee.
- In 1954, UNHCR won the Nobel Peace Prize for its groundbreaking work in Europe
- It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to eventually return home, integrate or resettle.
- During the time of displacement, it provides critical emergency assistance in the form of clean water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as shelter, blankets, household goods and sometimes food.
- It also arranges transport and assistance packages for people who return home, and income-generating projects for those who resettle.