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Global Refugee Forum 2019

Date: 16 - 18 December 2019

Global Refugee Forum 2019

Public event
Three people (from right to left: Co-host, High Commissioner for Refugees and Secretary) sit at a podium at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019, with one person (Assistant High Commissioner (Protection)) in the background.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (centre) opens the plenary session on burden and responsibility-sharing at the Global Refugee Forum 2019 in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The first Global Refugee Forum took place on 16 (advance session), 17 and 18 December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland and brought the international community together to demonstrate solidarity with the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them.

States and other stakeholders demonstrated leadership, vision and ambition to share the responsibility for refugees by announcing pledges to improve the lives of refugees and their host communities. Participants also shared good practices that illustrate how the Global Compact is already making a difference around the world.

Reflecting the importance of the occasion, the Forum was attended by some 3,000 participants, including four Heads of State or Government, more than 90 Officials at the Ministerial level, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, approximately 55 international organizations (including United Nations system entities and specialized agencies), representatives of more than 130 companies and foundations, approximately 250 civil society organizations and some 70 refugees.

It also generated considerable interest from the public at large and positive media coverage around the world. The refugees who attended the Forum noted the unprecedented depth of their engagement in both the preparations for this global discussion of refugee issues and the event itself, as well as the pledges they themselves made to contribute to the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees.

Pledges and good practices shared at the Global Refugee Forum 2019 can be found on the Digital Platform for the Global Compact on Refugees.


The Global Refugee Forum provided the international community with the opportunity to come together around the shared objective of increasing cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries.

The 2019 Forum was co‐hosted by UNHCR and Switzerland and co-convened by Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Germany, Pakistan and Turkey. All co-hosts and co-conveners were involved in mobilizing broad political support for the Forum. For more information read the summary of the first Global Refugee Forum by the co-convenors.

At the same time, States and other stakeholders had the opportunity to become co-sponsors, participating in a broad alliance of support on a specific area of focus for the Global Refugee Forum and using their energy and expertise to mobilize concrete contributions towards that area.

How to get involved

In the lead-up and during the course of the 2019 Global Refugee Forum event, many meaningful and important pledges and good practices have been shared.  

Through the digital platform for the Global Compact on Refugees, States and other stakeholders have the continued opportunity to announce concrete pledges and contributions that will achieve tangible benefits for refugees and host communities.

Individuals, governments, organizations and businesses across the globe, who are implementing initiatives that are transforming the lives of refugees, stateless people and host communities, are equally encouraged to share their good practices through the platform so that the world can hear and learn from them. 

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Digital Platform for the Global Compact on Refugees

The Digital Platform brings together a growing community working to help refugees and their host communities around the world. See the latest news and explore the pledges, contributions and different initiatives which are turning the Global Compact on Refugees into action.

Find out how you can get involved