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Minister Fleming attends the Global Refugee Forum

Minister Fleming attends the Global Refugee Forum

Minister of State for International Development and Diaspora, Mr. Sean Fleming T.D., today represented Ireland at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. The Global Refugee Forum (GRF) 2023 is taking place from 13 to 15 December. Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees.

The first Global Refugee Forum took place in December 2019 and at this Ireland made a number of pledges related to funding to refugee organisations, support to address root causes of displacement and resettlement. This year Ireland has made a number of follow up pledges based around the themes of gender, education, quality funding, climate action and localisation.

Minister Fleming pledged Ireland’s continued support for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM), as well as continued investment in tackling root causes of displacement. Ireland has pledged to spend at least €225m in climate finance by 2025, as well as €800m on nutrition programmes and interventions in the period 2022-26.

Speaking at the Forum, Minister Fleming said:

“Ireland has always been a strong supporter of the need for multilateral solutions to global problems and the particular role of the United Nations in finding those solutions. The second Global Refugee Forum provides a stage for countries to provide assistance to those most in need across the world.

“Ireland’s pledges at this Forum include acting with renewed urgency to tackle the underlying causes of displacement. We are supporting those most in need through funding for nutrition programmes as well as climate financing and critical interventions on peace. We have made a resettlement pledge which will focus on refugee populations which have been in place in host countries for many years.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of people fleeing crises stay as close to home as possible. Many neighbouring countries provide sanctuary for those in need of refuge and we have an obligation to help those host countries – from Jordan to Uganda to Bangladesh. We cannot allow them to suffer for their generosity.”

While in Geneva, the Minister has been invited to take part in a UNHCR organised High Level Event on the theme of inclusion of refugees. The Minister will also have a number of bilateral meetings.

Notes to Editor:

The Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed by the UN General Assembly in 2018, put in place a new comprehensive refugee response model. It envisioned more predictable and sustainable support to:

1. ease pressures on countries hosting refugees;

2. enhance opportunities for refugees to become self-reliant;

3. expand refugees’ access to third-country solutions such as resettlement and other pathways;

4. support conditions in refugees’ countries of origin so that they may be able to return in safety and dignity.

The compact sets out arrangements to ensure that both refugees and their host communities benefit from this support.

A key component of the Global Compact is the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) where States and other actors come together every four years to share good practices and contribute with financial support, technical expertise and policy changes to help reach the goals of the Global Compact.

Ireland’s Pledges include both:

1. National pledges including those based around the themes of gender, education, quality funding, climate action and localisation.

2. Multistakeholder pledges (involving multiple states and/or agencies).

Across the Forum States and civil society will announce transformative commitments in areas like education, labour market access, peacebuilding, climate change mitigation and resettlement. There will also be strong pledges around specific situations, including Afghans, Horn of Africa refugees, Rohingya, Central Americans and Central Africans.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Government of Switzerland expect to host at least seven Heads of State, Vice-Presidents and Heads of Government; three Deputy Prime Ministers; 30 Ministers of Foreign Affairs; and 95-line Ministers and Deputies. The Forum will be co-convened by Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan and Uganda.

Over 300 refugee delegates – about 10 per cent of attendees – will participate; a meaningful and overdue input. The highest levels of sport and business will be present, pledging alongside charitable foundations, financial institutions, UN agencies, humanitarian and development organisations, local authorities, NGOs, faith groups, academics and individual citizens.