18 Jul 2018News
From the CEO – SSI takes local knowledge to a global stage
We realise that influencing positive and fair social justice policies in Australia requires engagement with global communities, and in particular engaging in networks and fora that incorporate a global perspective on mass migration movements and critical refugee situations.
Image: SSI’s Humanitarian Settlement Program Manager, Yamamah Agha, NGO Rapporteur for the consultations
This year, the consultations and associated events held at the end of June in Geneva provided us a unique opportunity to influence global refugee policy by conveying the voices of the people we support and those of our partner organisations.
These were heard alongside others with lived experience, NGOs, international and UN organisations, UNHCR and community-based refugee organisations who met in person to share experiences, learn from others and plan ahead.
This year SSI’s Humanitarian Settlement Program Manager, Yamamah Agha, was selected for the role of NGO Rapporteur for the consultations and, with the assistance of a team in Geneva and at home, ( I want to particularly acknowledge the outstanding work of Katrina Grech and Carmen Ghaly ) was able to capture valuable ideas and perspectives to inform the event’s final report.
Yamamah Agha’s full summary speech at the closing plenary of the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs can be viewed here.
The inaugural Global Summit of Refugees was held prior to the consultations, with Adam Buraijami, Team Leader of the HSP Welcome program, representing SSI. The summit brought together refugee-led organizations and change-makers from around the world to discuss lived experiences and propose solutions for a more effective and sustainable global refugee policy. We congratulate Paul Power and the Refugee Council of Australia for its pivotal role in this ground breaking event.
During this time in Geneva I was also invited to present on “new forms of cooperation in reception and integration of resettled refugees”, as part of the UNHCR Annual Tripartite Consultations and Working Group on Resettlement, where I spoke about SSI’s successful corporate partnerships, such as SSI’s Allianz Ladder program.
I left these discussions more motivated and determined than ever to continue SSI’s great work in this space.
SSI was also proud to participate in the sixth and final formal Consultation on the Global Compact on Refugees. This was a historic event and the finalised compact will be crucial in solidifying international commitments to a shared responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees.
I believe refugees need to be a part of informing global policy that affects their lives, and to that end it was invaluable to bring the voices of the organisations and communities we support into the consultation process.
Thank you for your continued support of SSI.