Latin America: 20th anniversary of Cartagena Declaration on Refugees
As part of the activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees which broadened the refugee definition used in Latin America, UNHCR is organising the first of two sub-regional meetings in Latin America on Thursday and Friday. The Cartagena Declaration, adopted in 1984, offered an innovative approach to refugee protection and solutions in the region.
The two sub-regional meetings will analyze refugee protection and the main needs and challenges facing refugees across the region. The first sub-regional consultation will take place in San José, Costa Rica, bringing together senior governmental representatives from Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Experts and members of civil society and academia will also attend. The consultation is co-sponsored by the Government of Costa Rica and UNHCR, with support from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The second sub-regional meeting is planned for August 26-27 in Brazil to consult with the MERCOSUR [El Mercado Común del Sur] countries, plus Chile and Bolivia. An additional meeting with governments in the Andean region is also under discussion. The meetings will culminate in a final commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration in Mexico City in November.
The anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration will encourage discussion among governments on the interpretation and application of this regional refugee protection instrument, particularly concerning current refugee challenges facing the Americas.