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UNHCR calls for action to strengthen international response to refugees

Briefing notes

UNHCR calls for action to strengthen international response to refugees

Information note - Towards a global compact on refugees
13 October 2017
Uganda. The overcrowded school educating South Sudanese refugees
Refugee children who escaped the conflict in South Sudan attend Yangani Progressive Primary School in Yumbe District, northern Uganda. According to Yangani's deputy headteacher, the school has over 5,000 registered pupils.

UNHCR will convene the next round of thematic discussions in Geneva next week (17 and 18 October 2017) as it leads a consultative process to develop a global compact on refugees amidst record levels of people displaced by conflict and persecution globally.

The High Commissioner for Refugees was given the task of proposing a refugee compact in last year’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants by the UN General Assembly, which also provided for the negotiation of a separate global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.

Next week’s meeting at the Palais des Nations (rooms XVII and XXIV) will be attended by some 300 participants representing governments, international organizations, refugees and NGOs, as well as academics and other experts. The main proceedings will be streamed live on between 1000 and 1800.  A limited number of seats will be available for accredited media in room XVII.

The aim of the conference is to produce concrete suggestions to be included in the programme of action section of the compact, which will underpin the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) set out in annex I to the New York Declaration.  The programme of action will provide a platform for cooperation, through which countries hosting large numbers of refugees can rely on support from the international community.  

The conference will focus on actions designed to strengthen the reception and admission of large numbers of refugees, support their immediate and longer-term needs, and bolster support for host governments and communities.  Specific topics will include how better to prepare for refugee influxes and mobilize more resources, ways of including refugees in national health, education and social support systems, how to boost livelihood opportunities for refugees and how to use innovations to improve humanitarian aid and connectivity for refugees.  

To promote discussion, UNHCR has put forward some preliminary suggestions in a concept paper []. 

The co-chairs of the meeting, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Turk and the Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations Organization in Geneva, Ambassador Carsten Staur, will convene summary panels and make closing remarks between 1700 and 1800 on each of the conference.   


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