Yesterday, the UN General Assembly made the historic decision to agree on a new international framework known as the Global Compact on Refugees. The Refugee Council enthusiastically welcomes the news that the International Community is committed to working together to alleviate today’s unprecedented refugee crisis in a way which benefits both refugees and host communities.
The Global Compact on Refugees aims to address the issue of forced displacement by strengthening the shared responsibility of those who aid refugees fleeing war and persecution. It provides further investment in infrastructure – related to education, health services, and the environmental impact of hosting refugee populations – for refugees and host communities in support of this shared endeavour.
In addition to recognising the need for providing safe and legal routes to asylum for those forced to flee their homes, the Compact calls for more resettlement opportunities which would allow for individuals seeking asylum to do so safely.
The new agreement will also monitor progress through the creation of a Global Refugee Forum at which governments will report on progress and pledge on a range of measures.
Speaking after the success of this decision, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said, “The compact translates the idea of responsibility sharing into concrete, practical measures, to ensure refugees aren’t held hostage to the vagaries of politics. It provides long overdue recognition that countries hosting large numbers of refugees provide a huge service to our shared humanity and sets out ways through which the rest of the world can help share the load.”
In response to the agreement of the Global Compact, Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said:
“We very much welcome the new Global Compact on Refugees, which represents a significant new commitment from the International Community towards supporting the needs of refugees and host communities. We encourage the UK government to fully embrace the spirit of the Compact and lead the way towards putting the Compact into practice.”