Call for Refugee Economic Inclusion at Model UN Conference in Ghana

Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations

Felix addressing the audience at GIMUN 2020

The issue of economic inclusion of refugees took center stage at the opening of the Ghana International Model United Nations (GIMUN) Conference held at the University of Ghana. Felix Sessay, a Sierra Leonean refugee living in Ghana who addressed the over 700 young delegates from countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Togo called for more support for refugees in the area of access to jobs and entrepreneurship. He said refugees do not want to remain a marginalized group whose source of income and daily bread are dependent on philanthropy. “We believe in hard work as the best way to gain self-sufficiency” he added. According to Felix, refugees only become a liability to society when they are marginalized and denied the enabling environment to engage in economic activities.

“In a country where refugees possess an ID card that is only recognized by the issuing authority even though it bears the signature and logo of the government means exclusion. An ID card that does not permit refugee engagement in financial services in banks absolutely means rejection and not inclusion” Felix Sessay

He called for refugees to be given the enabling environment to engage in economic activities to enable them to become self-reliant.

The Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations aimed at educating participants about current issues, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. The purpose of the annual event is to empower young people with leadership and diplomatic skills as well as add their voice to finding solutions for critical global issues including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 The eleventh session of the conference took place at the University of Ghana in Accra on 2nd – 5th January 2020 under the theme ‘Bridging the Transformational Gap’. The Conference brought together young people who simulated specialized agencies and bodies within the United Nations including various committees of the UN such as the Security Council and the General Assembly.