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Pakistan

December 5, 2019

PM Imran to represent Pakistan at first-ever Global Refugee Forum in Geneva

Pakistan

Thu, Dec 05, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan will represent Pakistan as a co-convener at the first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Dec 17 and 18.

The (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) UNHCR and the Government of Switzerland will jointly host the GRF — the first major meeting on refugees of the 21st century.

The meeting will also be co-convened by Turkey, Pakistan, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. The secretary general of the United Nations and head of states from the co-convening countries are expected to attend.

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 UN in New York in December 2018.

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

The GCR provides a blueprint for governments, international organisations, and other stakeholders to ensure that host communities get the support they need and that refugees can lead productive lives.

It has four key objectives, including the easing of pressures on host countries, enhancement of refugees' self-reliance, expansion of access to third-country solutions and support of conditions in countries of origin for their return with safety and dignity.

Qaiser Khan Afridi, the UNHCR’s spokesperson in Pakistan, told The News that as co-conveners of the world meeting on refugees, Pakistan, as well as Germany, Turkey, Ethiopia and Costa Rica, will have a unique opportunity to help generate concrete pledges and contributions to make tangible and a long-term difference in the lives of refugees and the communities that host them.

He said that UNHCR and the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran would also launch a support platform to galvanise international solidarity for sustainable solutions for Afghan refugees.

According to the UNHCR, Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million registered Afghans who have been forced to flee their homes.

To be formally launched at the GRF, the Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) Support Platform will seek stronger political and financial commitments to achieve results and solutions.

The SSAR platform will also seek additional investments and partnerships for development and humanitarian responses aimed at increasing absorption capacity for voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan and easing the burden on host communities in Pakistan and Iran.