The 1st ever Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva, Switzerland from December 17-18 2019. The forum was co-hosted by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and co-convened (brought together) by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. The forum provided an opportunity to people to strengthen the international response against war, conflict and persecution that displaced people and left them with refugee status. Global Refugee Forum:
i.6 focus areas: The 1st Global Refugee Forum focused on 6 areas such as arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
ii.Important events in the forum:
- During the Forum, re-establishment of the integrity of the international refugee protection regime based on the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol related to refugee status was discussed.
- Business groups pledged to provide $250 million, with at least 15,000 jobs made available to refugees with 1.25 lakh hours per year of free legal aid.
- $ 2.2 billion was pledged by the World Bank(WB) Group. The Inter-American Development Bank of US also pledged to provide $ 1 billion.
- Forum conclusion: The forum ended with more than 770 pledges made covering areas such as protection, employment, and education for refugees.
- 2nd Global Refugee Forum: A stock-taking meeting will take place in two years, and the second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled in 2023.
iii.The forum followed, new Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) which was agreed on December 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA).
- GCR: GCR seeks to improve global response to refugee situations by providing support to the countries and communities that welcome refugees.
- It also aims to increase resettlement spots for the most vulnerable refugees & improve conditions in the refugees’ countries of origin
iv.Refugee displacement Data:
- As per the UN data, more than 70 million people are forcibly displaced, which is double the level 20 years ago, and 2.3 million more than just one year ago.
- More than 25 million refugees fled international borders and are unable to return to their homes. The no of refugees have doubled to 25million in over a decade.
About United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
Formation- 14 December 1950.
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland.
Head/High Commissioner- Filippo Grandi.