Statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on conclusion of formal consultations on the global compact on refugees

Uganda. A young South Sudanese refugee cooks food at a camp in northern Uganda

A young refugee girl who fled the fighting that began on 7 July 2016 in South Sudan, checks her pot of food at the the newly established Pagarinya 2 camp in Adjumani District, northern Uganda.  © UNHCR/Will Swanson

Geneva – As we confront massive levels of forced displacement in all regions of the world, the international community this week passed an important milestone in its work to improve the global response to refugees.

The formal consultations on a new global compact on refugees concluded in Geneva with strong and broad support for the final draft. The final version will be included in my annual report to the General Assembly, which will consider it later in the year.

Throughout the consultation process over the last 18 months, I have been heartened and encouraged by the constructive engagement of 193 UN Member States and many other stakeholders – from civil society, refugees, and international organizations – in this joint effort to forge a robust and more equitable global response to refugees.

There are more than 24 million refugees in the world today, with the vast majority hosted in low and middle-income countries close to the countries wracked by conflicts from which they fled. The burdens are often borne by countries least resourced to shoulder them. The compact aims to share this responsibility more equitably.

Once adopted, the compact will strengthen the international response to large refugee situations in concrete ways, broadening the base of support for refugees and the communities hosting them.

I was asked by the UN General Assembly to propose a global compact on refugees, based on the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework set out in the historic New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of September 2016. That new framework is already being applied in 14 countries, yielding significant results, as well as building on good practices from different large refugee-hosting countries.

The compact, while not legally binding, will represent the ambition of the international community to transform the response to refugee situations globally, with a blueprint for action to ensure refugees and the communities hosting them can count on timely and robust support.

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