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G8 summit dedicates evening to UNHCR and refugees worldwide

Briefing notes

G8 summit dedicates evening to UNHCR and refugees worldwide

18 June 1999

The annual Summit of Heads of State and Government of the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US) will take place in Cologne, Germany, at the end of this week.

On Saturday, 19 June, a concert will be organized at the Cologne Philarmonic. The concert will be attended by the G8 leaders. The German Presidency of the G8 has proposed to the High Commissioner that this evening be dedicated to UNHCR and to refugees worldwide, and that she attend the concert as guest of honour.

The High Commissioner has accepted the invitation with great pleasure and will travel to Cologne on Saturday. At the concert, Chancellor Schröder will announce that it is dedicated to UNHCR and that any funds raised through the concert will be entirely donated to UNHCR.

In her reply, Mrs Ogata will highlight the importance of having a summit devoted to global issues - the G8 summit - focus on a global problem - refugees. She will emphasize how crucial it is to address refugee problems worldwide, and will announce that Africa Refugee Day will be observed on the following day, Sunday 20 June.

On the next day, the High Commissioner will begin a one-week tour of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

The G8 initiative is very important, and a great honour for UNHCR. Through the High Commissioner, a group of key world leaders are paying tribute to the work of all UNHCR staff, all over the world.