The first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) will be hosted by UNHCR in Geneva December 17-18.
SSI International Policy and Project Officer Carmen Ghaly (centre) with Salome Gunsch (L) and Carolina Mussi (R) at the Community Sponsorship Champions Summit in Cork, Ireland.
The GRF is an occasion for the international community to advance the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees by mobilising political will, broadening the base of support, and implementing arrangements that facilitate more equitable, sustained, and predictable responsibility-sharing.
States and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to announce concrete pledges and contributions that will achieve tangible benefits for refugees and host communities.
SSI will submit pledges in the areas of Solutions and Jobs and Livelihoods.
The GRF comes at the end of a tumultuous decade and serves as a direct response to the unprecedented rise in the number of refugees displaced worldwide, now over 25 million people.
SSI’s strong stance and involvement in the GRF follows the valuable advocacy work of its international program in recent years.
SSI has accelerated its advocacy for a fairer community sponsorship model and in 2017, with the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), shared key findings after site visits and meetings with 18 NGOs and representatives on Canada’s globally recognised private sponsorship program.
Key learnings have also emerged from SSI’s partnerships and collaboration with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), UNHCR and the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI).
Last month, SSI joined the Community Sponsorship Champions Summit in Cork, Ireland. SSI International Policy and Project Officer Carmen Ghaly attended with representatives from CRSI and Welcoming Australia.
Ms Ghaly said the Summit provided ample opportunity to engage with organisations across the globe that were implementing or exploring the feasibility of a community sponsorship program. SSI gave an update on SSI’s work with communities in Australia committed to sponsoring and supporting refugee settlement.
“We are working towards finding an avenue where we can harness the goodwill of individuals and communities in Australia to take part in supporting and welcoming refugees and contribute to building an inclusive society.”
Ms Ghaly said the pledges to be presented at the GRF would showcase SSI’s commitment to lead by example, exchange good practices and play a role in implementing the Global Compact on Refugees. It would provide an opportunity to highlight SSI’s expertise in strengthening community capacities, fostering inclusion and supporting refugees to participate in social, economic, civic and community life.
“SSI has pledged to share good practice and provide technical support and advice to resettlement and host countries to help build inclusive communities, promote refugee self-reliance and offer practice-based solutions.”