Islamabad: Pakistan, Afghanistan and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday unanimously agreed on a 12-point joint declaration on conclusion of 30th Tripartite Dialogue on safe and honourable repatriation of Afghan Refugees, says a press release.
Minister for SAFRON Shehryar Afridi represented Pakistan while Afghanistan delegation was headed by Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi. UNHCR was represented by representative for the UN refugee agency in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, UNHCR representative in Afghanistan Ms Caroline Van Burn and others.
According to the 12-point communiqué, the three parties expressed their commitment to extend the existing Tripartite Agreement Governing the Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Citizens Living in Pakistan, pending approval by the Federal Cabinet of the Government of the Pakistan.
All three Parties to the Tripartite Agreement recalled that 2019 marks the fortieth year since the beginning of large-scale Afghan refugee displacement and appreciated the hospitality of the Government of Pakistan in providing continued protection to Afghan refugees for four decades.
The three parties reaffirmed their commitment to uphold the principle of voluntary repatriation, in safety and dignity, under the Tripartite Agreement; and urged enhanced efforts to create an environment conducive to voluntary return and sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan, and to continue supporting the host communities in Pakistan, within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR); Expressed concern at the decrease in the voluntary repatriation grant provided to the Afghan refugees, and encouraged the international community to increase the cash grant to its previous level (approx. USD 400 per individual).
They also appreciated the progress achieved by the Government of Afghanistan in the development of the Policy Framework and Action Plan; the decision to implement the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) which reaffirms the commitment to include refugee returnees in the National Priority Programs, particularly the Citizen’s Charter; as well as the enactment of the Presidential Decree on Land Allocation.
The parties called for continued support for the implementation of these initiatives; and requested that progress of these initiatives is shared with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, including through an awareness raising program, in order to enable them to make an informed decision to voluntarily return, with the facilitation of and in coordination with the host Government.
They welcomed the efforts of Afghanistan, UNHCR and other partners to promote targeted development interventions in “Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration” (PARRs) and called on the international community and development actors to support this important initiative with a view to enhancing absorption capacity and enabling sustainable reintegration of returning refugees through a whole-of-community approach, in a tangible and predictable manner, in line with the commitments enshrined in the Global Compact on Refugees and agreed to share periodic updates on the progress in the implementation of this initiative.