Thank you, Northern Europe

UNHCR’s Regional Representative thanks the countries in Northern Europe for strong and important contributions at the first ever Global Refugee Forum.

Statement from UNHCRs Regional Representative for Northern Europe, Henrik M. Nordentoft, after the first ever Global Refugee Forum, which took place in Geneva 16 to 18 December 2019:

“Countries in Northern Europe are strong partners to UNHCR. They have traditionally been deeply engaged in ensuring protection and assistance to refugees, both at home and around the world, as well as in finding solutions and promoting human rights.

At this first and historic Global Refugee Forum, UNHCR is encouraged to see the Nordic countries and Baltic States continuing to uphold this important role, engaging and contributing actively at the Forum, and thus translating responsibility-sharing and solidarity into concrete commitments of support.

It has been impressive and inspiring to see the range and number of stakeholders mobilized in Northern Europe: Governments, NGOs, the private sector, academia and many others who have pledged concrete and bold commitments, established new partnerships across sectors and borders and announced significant financial contributions. The many contributors from our region will help improve the lives and futures of refugees as well as strengthen the much needed support to the communities hosting them.

More than 770 pledges have been made at the Global Refugee Forum, including commitments to create jobs and school places for refugees, to increase resettlement quotas, and to support solutions in areas such as clean energy, infrastructure, capacity building and better support to host countries. A full list can be found at the dashboard here.

Emphasizing the importance of always involving refugees in discussions on how best to develop comprehensive responses to their situation, we have been pleased to see that refugees, including from our region, have been playing a central role as active participants at the Global Refugee Forum, contributing with perspectives and knowledge.

UNHCR is also proud to see that several good practices from the Nordic countries have been showcased at the Global Refugee Forum, highlighting positive experiences and hopefully inspiring others to create and develop more innovative solutions to benefit refugees and host communities.

With the majority of the world’s refugees being hosted in the developing world, including in some of the poorest countries – and with serious gaps in refugees’ access to education and livelihoods – the challenges are obvious. And the need for a more sustainable and predictable international response and approach is crucial.

It has been truly encouraging to see that the international community, including stakeholders in the Nordics and Baltics, have seized the unique opportunity of the Global Refugee Forum to step up, join hands and take action.

Now, it falls on us all to ensure, that these numerous and vital commitments translate into the promised improvements for refugees and host communities around the world.

Thank you.“

See an overview of some of the pledges from stakeholders in the Nordics and Baltics here.

See good practices from the countries in Northern Europe here.