First Global Refugee Forum to kick off in Switzerland
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was scheduled to attend an international refugee forum in Geneva as “co-chairman” along with other state officials from Costa Rica, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Germany.
UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the Government of Switzerland on Dec. 17-18 jointly hosts the meeting on refugees, the first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which will bring together leaders and influential figures.
Emine Erdoğan will deliver an opening speech of a panel on “proactive approaches to reduce maternal and newborn deaths.”
The two-day global conference is the first gathering at the ministerial level to follow up on the practical implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed at the U.N. in New York in December 2018.The aim of the Global Refugee Forum is to accelerate actions by governments, the private sector, international institutions and organizations, the non-governmental sector and civil society in implementing the new Global Compact on Refugees.
“This week, at the first ever Global Refugee Forum, we must focus our efforts in the coming decade on building upon what we have learned and committing action to support refugees and the countries and communities hosting them. This forum is an opportunity to attest our collective commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees and rally behind the aspirations of the sustainable development goals of leaving no one behind,” said Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees.
The contributions that will be made at the forum are expected to take numerous forms, including, for example, financial, material and technical assistance; resettlement places and complementary safe and legal pathways for admission of refugees and other actions, such as legal and policy changes to enable greater refugee inclusion in national systems through a whole of society approach.
The first Global Refugee Forum will focus on six thematic areas: arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions and protection capacity.
More than 70 million people today are forcibly displaced by violence and persecution around the world. Turkey currently hosts more than 3.5 million refugees from neighboring Syria’s more than eight-year-old war.
Turkey had previously said it could settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in a 444-kilometer (275-mile)-long “safe zone” it aimed to form in northeastern Syria and repeatedly urged NATO allies to provide financial aid for the plans.