Burundian refugee teacher Nimbona Valyne, 26, teaches Kirundi to pupils at Jugudi Primary School in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Kigoma Province, western Tanzania. There are 68 boys and 44 girls in Nimbona's class.
© UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

The first Global Refugee Forum comes at the end of a tumultuous decade in which the number of refugees worldwide has doubled to well over 25 million.


Convened at the ministerial level, the Global Refugee Forum is an opportunity to translate the principle of international responsibility-sharing, which lies at the heart of the Global Compact on Refugees, into concrete action.

Read about the Global Compact in action

On this unique occasion, the international community will come together to announce bold, new measures to:

  • Ease pressures on host countries;
  • Enhance refugee self-reliance;
  • Expand access to third-country solutions; and
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity

The Forum will showcase high-level, impactful pledges and contributions and the exchange of good practices that call on States, refugees, development actors, the private sector, UN entities, civil society organizations, academics and faith leaders, among others, to play a part. Refugees themselves are at the forefront of preparations for the Forum and are involved and consulted throughout.

The first Global Refugee Forum will open with an advance session on 16 December 2019, and will officially commence on 17 and 18 December (see programme), at the Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It will focus on six themes: arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.

Related events will be held ahead of the Forum in Geneva, illustrating the vital role that cities and civil society organizations play in welcoming and including refugees. Public initiatives include the spectacular lighting of the city’s iconic Jet d’Eau and an exhibition of crafts by MADE51 – an initiative bringing beautiful refugee-made products to a global market.

If you have questions or comments about the Global Refugee Forum, please contact the Global Refugee Forum Coordination Team at [email protected]. We welcome your feedback.