Pakistan to co-convene first ever Global Refugee Forum

Pakistan will be represented by PM Imran Khan in the moot expected to take place in Switzerland later this month

Umer Farooq December 03, 2019

PESHAWAR: In order to generate real pledges, contributions to make substantial and long-term changes in the lives of refugees besides easing the burden of refugees on the host communities, the first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) is scheduled to take place on Switzerland this month.

Besides Pakistan, the meeting will be co-convened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica where UN secretary-general and head of co-convening countries are expected to attend the forum. Pakistan will be represented by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Officials privy to the development stated the conference was first of its kind at ministerial level to follow up on the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed in December 2018 adding this was the 21st century’s first-ever mega major event on refugees being jointly hosted by United Nation High Commission of refugees and Switzerland.

According to UNHCR officials, the four key objectives include easing pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, expand access to third-country solutions and support conditions in countries of origin for safe and dignified repatriation of the refugees.

They informed that the GRF was meant to accelerate actions by governments, the private sector, international institutions and organisations, the non-governmental sector besides civil society in order to implement the new Global Compact on Refugees.

The forum will be seeking additional investments and partnerships for development and humanitarian responses aimed at increasing the absorption capacity for voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan besides easing the burden on host communities in Pakistan and Iran.

Last year, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), after two years of extensive consultations led by UNHCR with member states, international organisations, refugees, civil society, the private sector, and experts.

The Global Compact on Refugees provides a blueprint for governments, international organisations, and other stakeholders to ensure those host communities are supported as required.

UNHCR Pakistan Spokesperson Qaiser Khan Afridi stated that the conference was an opportunity for the co-conveners adding UNHCR, Pakistan and Iran will be launching a support platform encouraging international solidarity besides Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) Support Platform will seek political as well as financial commitments to achieve results and solutions.

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