Opening Conversation with the High Commissioner
Tuesday 29 September 2020, 11:00 - 12:30 (CEST)
Tuesday 29 September 2020, 11:00 - 12:30 (CEST)
The Opening plenary will feature United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, the Executive Director of International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and a refugee led organization. It will be moderated by Ms. Femi Oke.
The session will highlight United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees’ (UNHCR) engagement with non- governmental Organisations (NGOs), faith-based actors and refugee led organisations (RLOs) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening session will also focus on areas of collaboration, challenges, opportunities and emerging innovative approaches, as well as on recommendations for strengthening partnerships between UNHCR, NGOs and RLOs for the way forward in the response to COVID-19 and future pandemics.
This session will include a Question & Answer session, including via Pigeonhole, with the audience.
A virtual art exhibition will be accessible to the participants during the event, showing the winning works of the Youth Refugees Art Contest.
Femi Oke is an award-winning international journalist, broadcaster, professional moderator and co-founder of the diverse moderators bureau "Moderate The Panel." Based in Washington, D.C., she hosts the interactive current affairs show “The Stream” for Al Jazeera English; is a correspondent for the Al Jazeera documentary series "Fault Lines"; and the social media contributor for NPR's midday news program "Here and Now." Femi’s reporting has been recognised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency and InterAction. Since the 1980s, she has worked for BBC television and radio, Sky TV, all the U.K. terrestrial television networks, CNN and U.S. public radio. As a professional moderator Femi has presided over world class events including European Development Days, NBA Africa Celebratory Luncheon for the U.S. National Basketball Association, and the historic Barbershop Conference at the United Nations Headquarters.
Filippo Grandi was born in Milan in 1957 and has been engaged in refugee and humanitarian work for more than 30 years. From 2010 to 2014, he served as Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the UN Agency for Palestine refugees, having previously been its Deputy Commissioner-General since 2005. He also served as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan and has worked with NGOs and UNHCR in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and at our Geneva headquarters. He was elected by the United Nations General Assembly on 1 January 2016 to serve a five-year term, until 31 December 2020. Grandi holds a degree in modern history from the State University in Milan, a BA in Philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome and an honorary doctorate from the University of Coventry.
Ignacio Packer is Executive Director of ICVA, the global consortium of humanitarian NGOs. ICVA is a global network of non-governmental organisations whose mission is to make humanitarian action more principled and effective by working collectively and independently to influence policy and practice. Ignacio has over 30 years of experience in humanitarian work and development issues. Until 2017, he was the Secretary General of the Terre des Hommes International Federation, and previously worked for the Terre des Hommes Foundation, the Swiss Tropical Institute, the European Association for Development and Health, Médecins Sans Frontières, KPMG and the European Bank for Latin America. He is an expert on human rights and social issues. He has been strongly engaged in global advocacy on protection frameworks for migrant and refugees.
Najeeba is a refugee woman who fled Afghanistan and sought asylum from Australia by sea. She has spent several months in mandatory immigration detention before being recognised as a refugee. She has graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science. Najeeba has been mentoring other young refugee women in effective advocacy. Najeeba has been active in documenting refugee stories and voices through regular community roundtables and consultations and presenting these concerns at key regional and international advocacy forums. She attended the "train the trainer "training on Gender and Human Rights and since then has been providing training to different groups on gender and the empowerment of women, gender equality, women’s rights and violence against women and leadership. Najeeba has been actively involved in the development of refugee-led networks at both regional and global level, which focusses on bringing together refugee-led organizations and refugee change-makers from around the world to further discuss their lived experiences and propose solutions for more effective and sustainable refugee policy. Najeeba is the the founder of impactful refugee led networks including GRN (Global Refugee Led Network) and APNOR (Asia Pacific Network of Refugees) focusing on refugee leadership and participation and their engagement in policy discussion. Since her advocacy journey Najeeba has been awarded for her work on number of times " Human rights medal award, Local Citizen Award, Young Women of the west award and finalist NSW women premier award etc."