Annual NGO-UNHCR consultations start tomorrow

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR's Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organisations will begin tomorrow here in Geneva, bringing together some 200 NGOs for two full days of talks on a variety of issues ranging from humanitarian reform to responding in complex refugee emergencies.

In all, 330 delegates have registered to attend the consultations, which will be opened tomorrow by Deputy High Commissioner Craig Johnstone and closed at midday Friday with concluding remarks from High Commissioner António Guterres.

In a message to the meeting, Mr. Guterres - who is in New York this week - notes that NGOs are UNHCR's crucial partners in practically every one of our operations - those in the headlines and those in some of the most isolated and dangerous places in the world. Altogether, UNHCR works with more than 600 NGOs - national and international - worldwide.

The NGO consultations precede next week's annual UNHCR Executive Committee meeting. We'll have more information on the weeklong "ExCom" on Friday.