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World Refugee Day, June 20

Briefing notes

World Refugee Day, June 20

13 June 2003

UNHCR offices and our partners around the globe are planning a variety of events to mark World Refugee Day on June 20. The theme of this year's World Refugee Day is "Refugee Youth: Building the Future." Events range from open air concerts and numerous events and activities in schools to special websites, art and photo exhibits and national public awareness campaigns. The High Commissioner will mark World Refugee Day at the International Symposium on Refugees in Africa on June 19 and 20, at the UN University in Tokyo.

Here in Geneva, we will mark World Refugee Day at UNHCR headquarters with a special fund-raising concert of classical music. Up to 500 people will fill UNHCR's atrium to listen to two philharmonic orchestras (one French, one Swiss), and the Swiss mezzo-soprano Brigitte Balleys, playing music by Mozart, Dvôrác and Gluck. There will also be a reception and an exhibition of paintings by the Cambodian artist, Kosal, who arrived in France as a refugee in 1983. Elsewhere in Switzerland, among a range of other activities, around 50 public buildings and the Jet d'Eau in Geneva will be illuminated in blue light to mark World Refugee Day. Proceeds from the concert will go to fund educational projects for young refugees in two refugee camps in Africa.