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In 2016’s historic New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, all 193 Member States of the United Nations agreed that protecting those who are forced to flee and supporting the countries that shelter them are shared international responsibilities that must be borne more equitably and predictably.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was given the task of developing a new global compact on refugees in consultation with States and other stakeholders, building on the comprehensive refugee response framework set out in the New York Declaration (Annex I). 

That process comprised a series of thematic discussions in 2017 followed by formal consultations on successive drafts of the text between February and July 2018. These were complemented by hundreds of written contributions from United Nations Member States and other stakeholders.

The Global Compact on Refugees was officially affirmed by the UN General Assembly on 17 December 2018, paving the way for this new international framework to be implemented and to bring tangible benefits for refugee and host communities.

Three young boys smile at the camera

How can the world better share responsibility for refugees?