UN MOROCCO GLOBAL AGREEMENT NOT BINDING
The first Forum will be convened in 2018. Subsequent Forums will be reviewed every four years, unless otherwise agreed by the General Assembly, in order to ensure sustained momentum and political will. Forums will be co-convened and co-hosted by one or more State(s) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with an invitation to the United Nations Secretary-General to participate. Forums would, in principle, take place in Geneva to facilitate the participation of all States. In the years in which Forums take place, there will be no High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges.
- The achievement of international cooperation in solving international problems of a humanitarian character is a core purpose of the United Nations, as set out in its Charter, and is in line with the principle of sovereign equality of States.1 Similarly, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) recognizes that a satisfactory solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation, as the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries
- It is vital to translate this long-standing principle into concrete and practical action, including through widening the support base beyond those countries that have historically contributed to the refugee cause through hosting refugees or other means.
1 Article 1(3), Charter of the United Nations; A/RES/25/2625.
2 Preamble, recital 4 (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545). See also A/RES/2312, article 2(2).
3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 606, No. 8791.
4 See the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1001, No. 14691); the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees; and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, article 78, and Charter on the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, article 18. See also the Bangkok Principles on the Status and Treatment of Refugees of 31 December 1966 (final text adopted 24 June 2001).
- Against this background, the global compact on refugees intends to provide a basis for predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing among all United Nations Member States, together with other relevant stakeholders as appropriate, including but not limited to: international organizations within and outside the United Nations system, including those forming part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; other humanitarian and development actors; international and regional financial institutions; regional organizations; local authorities; civil society, including faith-based organizations; academics and other experts; the private sector; media; host community members and refugees themselves (hereinafter “relevant stakeholders”).
- The global compact is not legally binding. Yet it represents the political will and ambition of the international community as a whole for strengthened cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries. It will be operationalized through voluntary contributions to achieve collective outcomes and progress towards its objectives, set out in para 7 below. These contributions will be determined by each State and relevant stakeholder, taking into account their national realities, capacities and levels of development, and respecting national policies and priorities.
(ii) Guiding principles
- The global compact emanates from fundamental principles of humanity and international solidarity, and seeks to operationalize the principles of burden- and responsibility-sharing to better protect and assist refugees and support host countries and communities. The global compact is entirely non-political in nature, including in its implementation, and is in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It is grounded in the international refugee protection regime, centred on the cardinal principle of non-refoulement, and at the core of which is the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol.3 Some regions have also adopted specific instruments which apply to their own respective contexts.4 The global compact is guided by relevant international human rights instruments,5 international humanitarian law, as well as other international instruments as applicable.6 It is complemented by instruments for the protection of stateless persons, where applicable.7 The humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence – see A/RES/46/182 and all subsequent General Assembly resolutions on the subject, including resolution A/RES/71/127 – as well as the centrality of protection also guide the overall application of the global compact. National ownership and leadership are key to its successful implementation, taking into account national legislation, policies and priorities.
5 Including, but not limited to, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which inter alia enshrines the right to seek asylum in its article 14) (A/RES/3/217 A); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531); the Convention against Torture (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1465, No. 24841); the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 660, No. 9464); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, No. 14668); the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993, No. 14531); the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, No. 20378); and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2515, No. 44910).
6 E.g., Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2237, No. 39574); Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2241, No. 39574).
7 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 360, No. 5158); 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 909, No. 14458).
- It is recognized that a number of States not parties to the international refugee instruments have shown a generous approach to hosting refugees. All countries not yet parties are encouraged to consider acceding to those instruments and States parties with reservations to give consideration to withdrawing them.
- The objectives of the global compact as a whole are to: (i) ease pressures on host countries; (ii) enhance refugee self-reliance; (iii) expand access to third country solutions; and (iv) support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity. The global compact will seek to achieve these four interlinked and interdependent objectives through the mobilization of political will, a broadened base of support, and arrangements that facilitate a more equitable, sustained and predictable distribution of contributions among States and other relevant stakeholders.
(iv) Prevention and addressing root causes
- Large-scale refugee movements and protracted refugee situations persist around the world. Protecting and caring for refugees is life-saving for the individuals involved and an investment in the future, but importantly needs to be accompanied by dedicated efforts to address root causes. While not in themselves causes of refugee movements, climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements. In the first instance, addressing root causes is the responsibility of countries at the origin of refugee movements. However, averting and resolving large refugee situations are also matters of serious concern to the international community as a whole, requiring early efforts to address their drivers and triggers, as well as improved cooperation among political, humanitarian, development and peace actors.
- Against this background, the global compact complements ongoing United Nations endeavours in the areas of prevention, peace, security, sustainable development, migration and peacebuilding. All States and relevant stakeholders are called on to tackle the root causes of large refugee situations, including through heightened international efforts to prevent and resolve conflict; to uphold the Charter of the United Nations, international law, including international humanitarian law, as well as the rule of law at the national and international levels; to promote, respect, protect and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms for all; and to end exploitation and abuse, as well as discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property,birth, disability, age, or other status. The international community as a whole is also called on to support efforts to alleviate poverty, reduce disaster risks, and provide development assistance to countries of origin, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other relevant frameworks.8
9 See UNHCR Executive Committee (ExCom) Conclusion No. 108 (LIX) (2008), (f)-(k).
- Comprehensive refugee response framework
- Part II of the global compact is the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/71/1, Annex I). This constitutes an integral part of the global compact.
III. Programme of action
- In line with A/RES/71/1, the purpose of the programme of action is to facilitate the application of a comprehensive response in support of refugees and countries particularly affected by a large refugee movement, or a protracted refugee situation, through effective arrangements for burden- and responsibility-sharing (Part III.A); and areas for timely contributions in support of host countries and, where appropriate, countries of origin (Part III.B). These parts are to be read as interlinked.
- While the CRRF relates specifically to large refugee situations, population movements are not necessarily homogenous, and may be of a composite character. Some may be large movements involving both refugees and others on the move; others may involve refugees and internally displaced persons; and, in certain situations, external forced displacement may result from sudden-onset natural disasters and environmental degradation. These situations present complex challenges for affected States, which may seek support from the international community to address them. Support for appropriate responses could build on the operational partnerships between relevant actors, including UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), engaging their respective mandates, roles and expertise as appropriate to ensure a coordinated approach.
- The programme of action is underpinned by a strong partnership and participatory approach, involving refugees and host communities, as well as age, gender, and diversity9 considerations, including: promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls; ending all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation and abuse, and harmful practices; facilitating the meaningful participation of youth, persons with disabilities and older persons; ensuring the best interests of the child; and combating discrimination.
- Arrangements for burden- and responsibility-sharing
- Countries that receive and host refugees, often for extended periods, make an immense contribution from their own limited resources to the collective good, and indeed to the cause of humanity. It is imperative that these countries obtain tangible support of the international community as a whole in leading the response.
- The following arrangements seek to achieve more equitable and predictable burden- and responsibility-sharing with host countries and communities, and to support the search for solutions, including, where appropriate, through assistance to countries of origin. They entail complementary action at the global and region- or country-specific levels.
- In order to ensure full realization of the principles of international solidarity and cooperation, the arrangements are intended to be efficient, effective and practicable. Action will be taken to avoid duplication and to streamline the arrangements within existing processes where this is appropriate, including to ensure appropriate linkages with the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (Executive Committee). At the same time, these arrangements will necessarily go beyond existing processes, changing the way that the international community as a whole responds to large refugee situations so as to ensure better sharing of the burden and responsibility resulting from the presence of large numbers of refugees.
- Global arrangement for international cooperation
1.1 Global Refugee Forum
- A periodic Global Refugee Forum, at ministerial level, will be convened for all United Nations Member States, together with relevant stakeholders, to announce concrete pledges and contributions towards the objectives of the global compact, as set out in para 7, and to consider opportunities, challenges and ways in which burden- and responsibility-sharing can be enhanced. The first Forum will be convened in 2019. Subsequent Forums will be convened every four years, unless otherwise agreed by the General Assembly, in order to ensure sustained momentum and political will. Forums will be co-convened and co-hosted by one or more State(s) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with an invitation to the United Nations Secretary-General to participate. Forums would, in principle, take place in Geneva to facilitate the participation of all States. In the years in which Forums take place, there will be no High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges.
- Pledges and contributions made at Global Refugee Forums could take different forms, including financial, material and technical assistance;10 resettlement places and complementary pathways for admission; as well as other actions that States have elected to take at the national level in support of the objectives of the global compact. Part III.B below serves as a non-exhaustive guide for areas against which pledges and contributions could be made.
10 E.g, standby capacity or contributions to Support Platforms (section 2.2).
- The first Global Refugee Forum in 2019 will be dedicated to receiving formal pledges and contributions. Subsequent Forums will provide an opportunity not only to make new pledges, but also for States and relevant stakeholders to take stock of the implementation of their previous pledges and progress towards the achievement of the objectives of the global compact. This will be complemented by high-level officials’ meetings, held every two years between Forums, which will provide an opportunity for “mid-term review”. The ongoing stocktaking at Global Refugee Forums and high-level officials’ meetings will be key components of the follow up to the global compact (as set out in Part IV below).
- Arrangements to support a comprehensive response to a specific refugee situation
2.1 National arrangements
- Drawing on good practices, and recognizing the importance of national leadership, national arrangements may be established by concerned host countries to coordinate and facilitate the efforts of all relevant stakeholders working to achieve a comprehensive response. The composition and working methods of national arrangements would be determined by host States, as would the need for capacity development for relevant national authorities to undertake such work.
- Such efforts could support the development of a comprehensive plan under national leadership, in line with national policies and priorities, with the assistance of UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders as appropriate, setting out policy priorities; institutional and operational arrangements; requirements for support from the international community, including investment, financing, material and technical assistance; and solutions, including resettlement and complementary pathways for admission, as well as voluntary repatriation.
2.2 Support Platform
- In support of national arrangements, host countries would be able to seek the activation of a Support Platform.
- The Support Platform would enable context-specific support for refugees and concerned host countries and communities. In a spirit of partnership and in line with host country ownership and leadership, its functions would include:
– galvanizing political commitment and advocacy for prevention, protection, response and solutions;
– mobilizing financial, material and technical assistance, as well as resettlement and complementary pathways for admission, in support of the comprehensive plan (para 21), where applicable, drawing on Global Refugee Forum pledges;
– facilitating coherent humanitarian and development responses, including through the early and sustained engagement of development actors in support of host communities and refugees; and
– supporting comprehensive policy initiatives to ease pressure on host countries, build resilience and self-reliance, and find solutions.
- Upon the request of concerned host countries, or countries of origin where appropriate, a Support Platform could be activated/deactivated and assisted by UNHCR, in close consultation with relevant States that have committed to contributing in principle, taking into account existing response efforts and political, peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives. Criteria for activation would include:
– a large-scale and/or complex refugee situation where the response capacity of a host State is or is expected to be overwhelmed; or
– a protracted refugee situation where the host State(s) requires considerable additional support, and/or a major opportunity for a solution arises (e.g. large-scale voluntary repatriation to the country of origin).
- Each Support Platform would benefit from the leadership and engagement of a group of States to mobilize contributions and support, which may take different forms (para 23). The composition of this group would be specific to the context. Other relevant stakeholders would be invited to engage as appropriate.
- Support Platforms would not be fixed bodies or undertake operational activities. They would draw on pre-announced expressions of interest (including at the Global Refugee Forum) and standby arrangements. They would complement and interact with existing coordination mechanisms for humanitarian and development cooperation. In consultation with participating States, UNHCR would ensure regular reporting on the work of the Support Platforms to its Executive Committee, the United Nations General Assembly and the Global Refugee Forums, including to facilitate exchange of information, practices and experiences between different platforms.
- The strategy for support by a Platform could draw on a wide range of options. It could initiate a solidarity conference to generate support for the comprehensive plan, where this would add value and not duplicate other processes, bearing in mind the call for humanitarian assistance to be flexible, multi-year and unearmarked in line with para 32 below. A solidarity conference would be situation-specific, providing a strategic vehicle to garner broad-based support for host States or countries of origin, encompassing States, development actors, civil society, local communities and the private sector, and seeking financial, material and technical contributions, as well as resettlement and complementary pathways for admission.
2.3 Regional and sub-regional approaches
- Refugee movements often have a significant regional or sub-regional dimension. While the characteristics of regional and sub-regional mechanisms and groupings vary, they may, as appropriate, play an important role in comprehensive responses. Past comprehensive responses have also demonstrated the value of regional cooperation in addressing refugee situations in a manner which encompasses the political dimensions of causes.
- Without prejudice to global support, regional and sub-regional mechanisms or groupings would, as appropriate, actively contribute to resolution of refugee situations in their respective regions, including by playing a key role in Support Platforms, solidarity conferences and other arrangements with the consent of States. Comprehensive responses will also build on existing regional and sub-regional initiatives for refugee protection and durable solutions where available and appropriate, including regional and sub-regional resettlement initiatives, to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication.
- The exchange of good practices among relevant regional and sub-regional mechanisms will be facilitated by UNHCR on a regular basis in the context of Global Refugee Forums to bring in different perspectives and to encourage coherence.
- Key tools for effecting burden- and responsibility- sharing
- The following paragraphs describe tools to operationalize burden- and responsibility-sharing, and underpin the arrangements set out above.
- 3.1 Funding and effective and efficient use of resources
- While contributions to burden- and responsibility-sharing by the international community as a whole go beyond funding, the mobilization of timely, predictable, adequate and sustainable public and private funding nonetheless is key to the successful implementation of the global compact, bearing in mind the interest of all relevant stakeholders in maximizing the effective and efficient use of resources, preventing fraud and ensuring transparency. Through the arrangements set out above, and other related channels, resources will be made available to countries faced with large-scale refugee situations relative to their capacity, both new and protracted, including through efforts to expand the support base beyond traditional donors.11 This includes:
11 Including through innovative financing schemes as recommended in the Report to the Secretary-General by the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing (January 2016).
– humanitarian assistance: States and humanitarian actors will work to ensure timely, adequate and needs-driven humanitarian assistance, both for the emergency response and protracted situations, including predictable, flexible, unearmarked, and multi-year funding whenever possible,12 delivered fully in line with the humanitarian principles;
– development cooperation: States and other development actors will work to step up their engagement in support of refugees, host countries and host communities, and to include the impact of a refugee situation on host countries and communities in their planning and policies. This will involve additional development resources, over and above regular development assistance, provided as grants or with a high degree of concessionality through both bilateral and multilateral channels, with direct benefits to host countries and communities, as well as to refugees. Efforts will be made to ensure that development assistance is effective, in a spirit of partnership and respecting the primacy of country ownership and leadership.13 Whenever possible, development assistance in favour of countries of origin to enable conditions for voluntary repatriation will also be prioritized;
– maximizing private sector contributions: upon the request of the concerned host country or country of origin as appropriate, the private sector, together with States and other relevant stakeholders, could explore: policy measures and de-risking arrangements; opportunities for private sector investment, infrastructure strengthening and job creation in contexts where the business climate is enabling; development of innovative technology, including renewable energy, particularly with a view to closing the technology gap and supporting capacity in developing and least developed refugee-hosting countries; and greater access to financial products and information services for refugees and host communities.
3.2 A multi-stakeholder and partnership approach
- While recognizing the primary responsibility and sovereignty of States, a multi-stakeholder and partnership approach will be pursued, in line with relevant legal frameworks and in close coordination with national institutions. In addition to the exercise of its mandate responsibilities, UNHCR will play a supportive and catalytic role.
- Responses are most effective when they actively and meaningfully engage those they are intended to protect and assist. Relevant actors will, wherever possible, continue to develop and support consultative processes that enable refugees and host community members to assist in designing appropriate, accessible and inclusive responses. States and relevant stakeholders will explore how best to include refugees and members of host communities, particularly women, youth, and persons with disabilities, in key forums and processes, as well as diaspora, where relevant. Mechanisms to receive complaints, and investigate and prevent fraud, abuse and corruption help to ensure accountability.
- Without prejudice to activities which humanitarian organizations carry out in line with their respective mandates, humanitarian and development actors will work together from the outset of a refugee situation and in protracted situations. They will develop means to ensure the effective complementarity of their interventions to support host countries and, where appropriate, countries of origin, including in those countries that lack the institutional capacities to address the needs of refugees. Support by bilateral and multilateral development and financial actors for the direct benefit of host communities and refugees will be additional and undertaken in partnership, respecting the primacy of national ownership and leadership, and in a manner that does not negatively impact or reduce support for broader development objectives in the concerned country.
- The United Nations system will be fully leveraged. This will include the contributions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and the United Nations Country Team, as well as all relevant agencies to ensure operational cooperation on the ground, in line with the United Nations Secretary-General’s reform agenda, notably in the areas of peace, security and development. Guided by the Resident Coordinator, and in furtherance of national development imperatives, United Nations development action in support of host communities and refugees will, where appropriate, be considered in United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks, to be prepared and finalized in full consultation and agreement with national governments.14 Technical advice and support will also be made available through the United Nations regional offices.
15 A/RES/72/278, noting also the work of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
16 Noting the work of the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum, and the model provided by the Business Mechanism of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
- Local authorities and other local actors in both urban and rural settings, including local community leaders and traditional community governance institutions, are often first responders to large-scale refugee situations, and among the actors that experience the most significant impact over the medium term. In consultation with national authorities and in respect of relevant legal frameworks, support by the international community as a whole may be provided to strengthen institutional capacities, infrastructure and accommodation at local level, including through funding and capacity development where appropriate. Recruitment of local personnel by humanitarian and development agencies is encouraged in line with relevant laws and policies, while bearing in mind the need for continued capacity of local actors, organizations and structures.
- Networks of cities and municipalities hosting refugees are invited to share good practices and innovative approaches to responses in urban settings, including through twinning arrangements, with the support of UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders.
- Likewise, engagement by parliaments as appropriate under relevant national arrangements is encouraged, with a view to supporting the global compact. 15
- In recognition of their important work for refugees, as well as host States and communities, and in a spirit of partnership, civil society organizations, including those that are led by refugees, women, youth or persons with disabilities, and those operating at the local and national levels, will contribute to assessing community strengths and needs, inclusive and accessible planning and programme implementation, and capacity development, as applicable.
- Faith-based actors could support the planning and delivery of arrangements to assist refugees and host communities, including in the areas of conflict prevention, reconciliation, and peacebuilding, as well as other relevant areas.
- Public-private partnerships will be explored,16 in full respect of the humanitarian principles, including: possible new institutional arrangements and methodologies for the creation of commercial business venture conditions and financial/business instruments; to support refugee and host community employment and labour mobility; and to enable greater opportunities for private sector investment. The private sector is encouraged to advance standards for ethical conduct in refugee situations, share tools to identify business opportunities in host countries, and develop country-level private sector facilitation platforms where this would add value.
- A global academic network on refugee, other forced displacement, and statelessness issues will be established, involving universities, academic alliances, and research institutions, together with UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders, to facilitate research, training and scholarship opportunities which result in specific deliverables in support of the objectives of the global compact. Efforts will be made to ensure regional diversity and expertise from a broad range of relevant subject areas.
- Recognizing the important role that sports and cultural activities can play in social development, inclusion, cohesion, and well-being, particularly for refugee children (both boys and girls), adolescents and youth, as well as older persons and persons with disabilities, partnerships will be pursued to increase access to sporting and cultural facilities and activities in refugee-hosting areas.
- 17 Noting the work of the Olympic Refuge Foundation, and the partnership between UNHCR and the International Olympic Committee, and other entities such as Football Club Barcelona Foundation. See also the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and A/RES/71/160.
19 A/RES/72/150, para 20.
3.3 Data and evidence
- Reliable, comparable, and timely data is critical for evidence-based measures to: improve socio-economic conditions for refugees and host communities; assess and address the impact of large refugee populations on host countries in emergency and protracted situations; and identify and plan appropriate solutions. Relevant data protection and data privacy principles are to be applied with respect to all collection and dissemination of personal data, including the principles of necessity, proportionality, and confidentiality.
- To support evidence-based responses, States and relevant stakeholders will, as appropriate, promote the development of harmonized or interoperable standards for the collection, analysis, and sharing of age, gender, disability, and diversity disaggregated data on refugees and returnees.18 Upon the request of concerned States, support will be provided for the inclusion of refugees and host communities, as well as returnees and stateless persons as relevant, within national data and statistical collection processes; and to strengthen national data collection systems on the situation of refugees and host communities, as well as returnees.
- Improving data and evidence will also support efforts to achieve solutions. Data and evidence will assist in the development of policies, investments and programmes in support of the voluntary repatriation to and reintegration of returnees in countries of origin. In addition, States, UNHCR, and other relevant stakeholders will work to enable the systematic collection, sharing, and analysis of disaggregated data related to the availability and use of resettlement and complementary pathways for admission of those with international protection needs; and share good practices and lessons learned in this area.
- To inform burden- and responsibility-sharing arrangements, UNHCR will coordinate with concerned States and appropriate partners to assist with measuring the impact arising from hosting, protecting and assisting refugees, with a view to assessing gaps in international cooperation and to promoting burden- and responsibility-sharing that is more equitable, predictable and sustainable.19 In 2018, UNHCR will convene technical expertise from international organizations and Member States, and coordinate a technical review of relevant methodologies to build broad consensus on the approach to be taken. The results will be shared and provide the opportunity for formal discussions among States in 2018-2019. The first report will be issued in 2019, coinciding with the first Global Refugee Forum. Subsequent reports will be provided at regular intervals, providing the basis for determining whether there has been progress towards more equitable and predictable burden- and responsibility-sharing in line with para 7 (see also Part IV below).
- Areas in need of support
- The areas in need of support, set out in Part B, aim to ease the burden on host countries and to benefit refugees and host community members. Grouped around the pillars of the CRRF, and based on past comprehensive responses, the areas highlight where the international community may usefully channel support for a comprehensive and people-centred response to large refugee situations, adapted to the specific context, and in line with national priorities, strategies and policies. The success of the measures in Part B relies on robust and well-functioning arrangements for burden- and responsibility-sharing (Part A), and a commitment on the part of the international community as a whole to providing concrete contributions20 to bring these arrangements to life, based on the principle of burden- and responsibility-sharing.
20 In line with para 4 above.
- Support will be put in place upon the request of the host country, or country of origin where relevant, in line with country ownership and leadership and respecting national policies and priorities. It is recognized that each context is specific and that each State has different frameworks, capacities and resources. Part B is not exhaustive or prescriptive. Part B also is not intended to create additional burdens or impositions on host countries. Indeed, a key objective of the global compact is to ease pressures, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, through contributions from other States and relevant stakeholders.
- The measures in Part B will take into account, meaningfully engage and seek input from those with diverse needs and potential vulnerabilities, including girls and women; children, adolescents and youth; persons belonging to minorities; survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, or trafficking in persons; older persons; and persons with disabilities.
- Reception and admission
1.1 Early warning, preparedness and contingency planning
- Preparedness, including contingency planning, strengthens comprehensive responses to large refugee situations, including over the medium term. Without prejudice to efforts to address root causes, in line with the United Nations Secretary-General’s prevention agenda, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to include preparation for large refugee movements, in a manner consistent with the CRRF where possible, in national, regional, and United Nations-supported preparedness and contingency planning efforts.
- Under national leadership, capacity development for relevant authorities will be supported, enabling them to put in place risk monitoring and preparedness measures in advance, and to draw on support from a wide range of relevant stakeholders, including the private sector as appropriate. Preparedness measures will take into account global, regional, subregional and national early warning and early action mechanisms, disaster risk reduction efforts, and measures to enhance evidence-based forecasting of future movements and emergencies. They could, where appropriate, also take into account forced internal displacement that may result from a particular situation. UNHCR will strengthen support to concerned countries by sharing information on the movement of people of concern. Support will also be provided in the form of standby capacity, including potential standby service assistance packages and necessary technical and human resources committed in advance.
1.2 Immediate reception arrangements
- When large numbers of refugees arrive, countries and communities go to great lengths to scale up arrangements to receive them. In support of government strategies to manage arrivals, UNHCR, States, and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to strengthen national capacities for reception, including for the establishment of reception and transit areas sensitive to age, gender, disability, and other specific needs (through “safe spaces” where appropriate), as well as to provide basic humanitarian assistance and essential services in reception areas. Efficient mechanisms to pursue alternatives to camps away from borders will be supported, where considered relevant by the concerned host country.
- Priority will be given to supporting response measures established by concerned States, including through the provision of assistance using national delivery systems where feasible and appropriate. Regional and international standby arrangements for personnel, as well as technical and material assistance, will be activated, in consultation with concerned States. Measures by concerned States to facilitate timely entry for standby and emergency deployments are encouraged.
1.3 Safety and security
- Security considerations and international protection are complementary. The primary responsibility for safety and security lies with States, which can benefit from the promotion of national integrated approaches that protect refugees and their human rights, while safeguarding national security. The legitimate security concerns of host States are fully recognized, as well as the importance of upholding the civilian and humanitarian character of international protection and applicable international law, both in emergency and protracted situations.21
21 See article 9 of the 1951 Convention; ExCom Conclusions No. 94 (LIII) (2002) and 109 (LX) (2009); and A/RES/72/150, para 28.
23 This could include civil society, regional organizations, and international organizations such as UNHCR and IOM.
- At the request of concerned States, and in full respect of national laws and policies, UNHCR and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to support protection-sensitive arrangements for timely security screening and health assessments of new arrivals. Support will also be provided for: capacity development of relevant authorities, for instance on international refugee protection and exclusion criteria; strengthening of international efforts to prevent and combat sexual and gender-based violence, as well as trafficking and smuggling in persons; capacity development for community-oriented policing and access to justice; and the identification and separation of fighters and combatants at border entry points or as early as possible after arrival in line with relevant protection safeguards. The development and implementation of programmes for protection and assistance to children formerly associated with armed groups will also be supported.
1.4 Registration and documentation
- Registration and identification of refugees is key for people concerned, as well as for States to know who has arrived, and facilitates access to basic assistance and protection, including for those with specific needs. It is also an important tool in ensuring the integrity of refugee protection systems and preventing and combating fraud, corruption and crime, including trafficking in persons. Registration is no less important for solutions. In support of concerned countries, UNHCR, in conjunction with States and relevant stakeholders, will contribute resources and expertise to strengthen national capacity for individual registration and documentation, including for women and girls, regardless of marital status, upon request. This will include support for digitalization, biometrics and other relevant technology, as well as the collection, use and sharing of quality registration data, disaggregated by age, gender, disability, and diversity, in line with relevant data protection and privacy principles.
1.5 Addressing specific needs
- The capacity to address specific needs is a particular challenge, requiring additional resources and targeted assistance. Persons with specific needs include: children, including those who are unaccompanied or separated; women at risk; survivors of torture, trauma, trafficking in persons, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse or harmful practices; those with medical needs; persons with disabilities; those who are illiterate; adolescents and youth; and older persons.22
- In support of concerned countries, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise for the establishment of mechanisms for identification, screening and referral of those with specific needs to appropriate and accessible processes and procedures. Multi-stakeholder response teams could be established to facilitate this operationally. 23 This will include the identification and referral of children, including unaccompanied and separated children, to best interests assessment and/or determination, together with appropriate care arrangements or other services.24 Identification and referral of victims of trafficking in persons and other forms of exploitation to appropriate processes and procedures, including for identification of international protection needs or victim support, is key;25 as is identification and referral of stateless persons and those at risk of statelessness, including to statelessness determination procedures. The development of non-custodial and community-based alternatives to detention, particularly for children, will also be supported.
25 In line with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
26 See above, para 5; ExCom Conclusions No. 103 (LVI) (2005) (s) and 96 (LIV) (2003).
27 ExCom Conclusions No.: 22 (XXXII) (1981); 74 (XLV) (1994), (r) – (u); 103 (LVI) (2005), (l).
28 See also ExCom Conclusion No. 109 (LX) (2009).
1.6 Identifying international protection needs
- Mechanisms for the fair and efficient determination of individual international protection claims provide an opportunity for States to duly determine the status of those on their territory in accordance with their applicable international and regional obligations (A/RES/72/150, para 51), in a way which avoids protection gaps and enables all those in need of international protection to find and enjoy it. 26 In the context of large refugee movements, group-based protection (such as prima facie recognition of refugee status) can assist in addressing international protection needs, where considered appropriate by the State.
- Without prejudice to activities carried out under its mandate, UNHCR will establish an Asylum Capacity Support Group with participation of experts from relevant technical areas. Due regard will be paid to regional diversity. The group would draw on pledges and contributions made as part of Global Refugee Forums, whether in terms of expertise or funding. The group could be activated on the request of a concerned State to provide support to relevant national authorities – in line with applicable international, regional and national instruments and laws – to strengthen aspects of their asylum systems, with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity. Support could include standby arrangements and sharing of good practices between States on all aspects of asylum systems, including case-processing modalities (e.g. simplified or accelerated procedures for cases likely to be manifestly founded or unfounded), registration and case management processes, interviewing techniques and broader institutional capacity development.
- In addition, where appropriate, stakeholders with relevant mandates and expertise will provide guidance and support for measures to address other protection and humanitarian challenges. This could include measures to assist those forcibly displaced by natural disasters, taking into account national laws and regional instruments as applicable, as well as practices such as temporary protection27 and humanitarian stay arrangements, where appropriate.
- Meeting needs and supporting communities
- Thorough management of a refugee situation is often predicated on the resilience of the host community. There is also increasing recognition of the development challenges posed by large refugee situations and the advantages of shared and inclusive economic growth in refugee-hosting areas from which all can benefit, in line with the 2030 Agenda. The global compact can help attract support to ensure that refugees and their host communities are not left behind in a country’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, host States that seek to strengthen national policies and institutions for the resilience of local and refugee communities often require sufficient contributions from the international community as a whole to accompany their efforts, until durable solutions can be found. Efforts to support refugees and host communities in no way diminish, and are in fact complementary to, the need to facilitate future arrangements for durable solutions.28
- Without affecting humanitarian assistance, development actors will work in a complementary manner to humanitarian assistance interventions to ensure that the impact of a large refugee situation on a host country is taken into account in the planning and implementation of development programmes and policies with direct benefits for both host communities and refugees. A spirit of partnership, the primacy of country leadership and ownership, and the mobilization of predictable international responses consistent with national development strategies and aligned with the 2030 Agenda, are key to ensuring sustainability. At the same time, host countries need to be able to rely on additional development resources to ensure that communities affected by a refugee situation are not impaired in making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Humanitarian assistance remains needs-driven and based upon the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. Wherever possible, it will be delivered in a way that benefits both refugees and host communities. This will include efforts to deliver assistance through local and national service providers where appropriate (including through multipurpose cash assistance), instead of establishing parallel systems for refugees from which host communities do not benefit over time. Increasingly, refugees find themselves in urban and rural areas outside of camps, and it is important to also respond to this reality.
- The areas set out below require particular support by the international community as a whole in order to enhance resilience for host communities, as well as refugees. They constitute indicative areas relying on contributions from others, including through the arrangements in Part A, to assist in the application of a comprehensive response. They are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or to create additional impositions or burdens on host countries. All support will be provided in coordination with relevant national authorities in a spirit of close partnership and cooperation, and be linked as relevant to ongoing national efforts and policies.
- In line with national education laws, policies and planning, and in support of host countries, States and relevant stakeholders29 will contribute resources and expertise to expand and enhance the quality and inclusiveness of national education systems to facilitate access by refugee and host community children (both boys and girls), adolescents and youth to primary, secondary and tertiary education. More direct financial support and special efforts will be mobilized to minimize the time refugee boys and girls spend out of education, ideally a maximum of three months after arrival.
29 In addition to ministries of education and national education planning bodies, this could include the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium, the Global Partnership for Education, UNHCR, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNRWA, Education Cannot Wait, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
30 This could include the private sector and local businesses, as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the OECD, UNHCR, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, IOM, workers’ and employers’ associations, microfinance institutions, and academia.
31 These efforts also will be guided by “Recommendation No. 205 concerning employment and decent work for peace and resilience” and the “Guiding principles on the access of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons to the labour market”.
- Depending on the context, additional support could be contributed to expand educational facilities (including for early childhood development, and technical or vocational training) and teaching capacities (including support for, as appropriate, refugees and members of host communities who are or could be engaged as teachers, in line with national laws and policies). Additional areas for support include efforts to meet the specific education needs of refugees (including through “safe schools” and innovative methods such as online education) and overcome obstacles to their enrolment and attendance, including through flexible certified learning programmes, especially for girls, as well persons with disabilities and psychosocial trauma. Support will be provided for the development and implementation of national education sector plans that include refugees. Support will also be provided where needed to facilitate recognition of equivalency of academic, professional and vocational qualifications. (See also section 3.3, complementary pathways for admission to third countries).
2.2 Jobs and livelihoods
- To foster inclusive economic growth for host communities and refugees, in support of host countries and subject to relevant national laws and policies, States and relevant stakeholders30 will contribute resources and expertise to promote economic opportunities, decent work, job creation and entrepreneurship programmes for host community members and refugees, including women, young adults, older persons and persons with disabilities.31
- Depending on the context, resources and expertise could be contributed to support: labour market analysis to identify gaps and opportunities for employment creation and income generation; mapping and recognition of skills and qualifications among refugees and host communities; and strengthening of these skills and qualifications through specific training programmes, including language and vocational training, linked to market opportunities, in particular for women, persons with disabilities, and youth. Particular attention will be paid to closing the technology gap and building capacities (particularly of developing and least-developed refugee host countries), including to facilitate online livelihood opportunities. Efforts will be made to support access to affordable financial products and services for women and men in host and refugee communities, including by reducing associated risks and enabling low-cost mobile and internet access to these services where possible; as well as to support the transfer of remittances. In some contexts, where appropriate, preferential trade arrangements could be explored in line with relevant international obligations, especially for goods and sectors with high refugee participation in the labour force; as could instruments to attract private sector and infrastructure investment and support the capacity of local businesses.
- In line with national health care laws, policies and plans, and in support of host countries, States and relevant stakeholders32 will contribute resources and expertise to expand and enhance the quality of national health systems to facilitate access by refugees and host communities, including women and girls; children, adolescents and youth; older persons; those with chronic illnesses, including tuberculosis and HIV; survivors of trafficking in persons, torture, trauma or violence, including sexual and gender-based violence; and persons with disabilities.
32 This could include the World Health Organization (WHO); UNHCR; UNICEF; UNFPA; IOM; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and relevant civil society organizations. See also WHA70.15 (2017).
- Depending on the context, this could include resources and expertise to build and equip health facilitates or strengthen services, including through capacity development and training opportunities for refugees and members of host communities who are or could be engaged as health care workers in line with national laws and policies (including with respect to mental health and psychosocial care). Disease prevention, immunization services, and health promotion activities, including participation in physical activity and sport, are encouraged; as are pledges to facilitate affordable and equitable access to adequate quantities of medicines, medical supplies, vaccines, diagnostics, and preventive commodities.
2.4 Women and girls
- Women and girls may experience particular gender-related barriers that call for an adaptation of responses in the context of large refugee situations. In line with relevant international instruments and national arrangements, States and relevant stakeholders will seek to adopt and implement policies and programmes to empower women and girls in refugee and host communities, and to promote full enjoyment of their human rights, as well as equality of access to services and opportunities – while also taking into account the particular needs and situation of men and boys.
- This will include contributions to promote the meaningful participation and leadership of women and girls, and to support the institutional capacity and participation of national and community-based women’s organizations, as well as all relevant government ministries. Resources and expertise to strengthen access to justice and the security and safety of women and girls, including to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual- and gender-based violence and harmful practices, are called for; as is support to facilitate access to age-, disability- and gender-responsive social and health care services, including through recruitment and deployment of female health workers. Measures to strengthen the agency of women and girls, to promote women’s economic empowerment and to support access by women and girls to education (including secondary and tertiary education) will be fostered.
2.5 Children, adolescents and youth
- Children make up over half of the world’s refugees. In support of host countries, States and relevant stakeholders33 will contribute resources and expertise towards policies and programmes that take into account the specific vulnerabilities and protection needs of girls and boys, children with disabilities, adolescents, unaccompanied and separated children, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and harmful practices, and other children at risk. Depending on the context, this will include resources and expertise to support integrated and age-sensitive services for refugee and host community girls and boys, including to address mental health and psychosocial needs, as well as investment in national child protection systems and cross-border cooperation and regional partnerships to provide a continuum of protection, care and services for at risk children. Capacity development for relevant authorities to undertake best interests determination and assessment to inform decisions that concern refugee children, as well as other child-sensitive procedures and family tracing, will be supported. UNHCR will work with States to enhance access by refugee boys and girls to resettlement and complementary pathways for admission.
33 Including UNICEF and relevant civil society organizations.
34 This could include the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
- The empowerment of refugee and host community youth, building on their talent, potential and energy, supports resilience and eventual solutions. The active participation and engagement of refugee and host community youth will be supported by States and relevant stakeholders, including through projects that recognize, utilize and develop their capacities and skills, and foster their physical and emotional well-being.
2.6 Accommodation, energy, and natural resource management
- Depending on the context, host countries may seek support from the international community as a whole to address the accommodation and environmental impacts of large numbers of refugees. Accordingly, in support of host countries and in line with national laws, policies and strategies, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to strengthen infrastructure so as to facilitate access to appropriate accommodation for refugees and host communities and to promote integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems in both urban and rural areas.
- This will include contributions to bolster national capacity to address accommodation, water, sanitation and hygiene, infrastructure and environmental challenges in or near refugee-hosting rural and urban areas; and to invest in closing the technology gap and scaling-up capacity development for smart, affordable and appropriate technologies and renewable energy in developing and least developed refugee hosting countries. Environmental impact assessments, national sustainable development projects and business models for the delivery of clean energy that cater more effectively to refugee and host community needs will be actively supported, as will “safe access to fuel and energy” programming to improve the quality of human settlements, including the living and working conditions of both urban and rural dwellers. Technical capacity development will be facilitated, including from the private sector and through State-to-State arrangements. Support will also be provided, as appropriate, to include refugees in disaster risk reduction strategies.
2.7 Food security and nutrition
- Acknowledging that food and nutrition are priority basic needs, in support of host countries, States and relevant stakeholders34 will contribute resources and expertise to facilitate access by refugees and host communities to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, and promote increased self-reliance in food security and nutrition, including by women, children, youth, persons with disabilities and older persons.
- This will include resources and expertise for targeted food assistance to meet the immediate food and nutritional needs of refugees and host communities through most suitable means, including increased use of cash-based transfers or social protection systems, while also supporting access by refugees and host communities to nutrition-sensitive social safety nets, including school feeding programmes. Support will also be provided to build resilience of households and food and agricultural production systems in refugee-hosting areas, including by promoting purchases from local farmers and addressing bottlenecks along the food value chain, taking into account diversity, prevailing cultural and religious practices, and preferences for food and agricultural production. Capacity development for host governments and local communities to withstand shocks and stress factors, which limit the availability of food, including its production, or constrain access to it will be prioritized.
2.8 Civil registries
- Civil and birth registration helps States to have accurate information about the persons living on their territory, and is a major tool for protection and solutions, including for refugee women, girls and others with specific needs. While it does not necessarily lead to conferral of nationality, birth registration helps establish legal identity and prevent the risk of statelessness. In support of host countries, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to strengthen the capacity of national civil registries to facilitate timely access by refugees and stateless persons, as appropriate, to civil and birth registration and documentation, including through digital technology and the provision of mobile services, subject to full respect for data protection and privacy principles.
- Recognizing that statelessness may be both a cause and consequence of refugee movements,35 States, UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to support the sharing of good, gender-sensitive practices for the prevention and reduction of statelessness, and the development of, as appropriate, national and regional and international action plans to end statelessness, in line with relevant standards and initiatives, including UNHCR’s Campaign to End Statelessness. States that have not yet acceded to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are encouraged to consider doing so.
35 See ExCom Conclusion No. 101 (LV) (2004), (k).
2.10 Fostering good relations and peaceful coexistence
- Recognizing the importance of good relations between communities, pending the availability of durable solutions, programmes and projects will be designed in ways that combat all forms of discrimination and promote peaceful coexistence between refugee and host communities, in line with national policies. Specific programmes and projects will be supported to enhance understanding of the plight of refugees, including through technical cooperation and capacity development for local communities and personnel. Engagement of children, adolescents and youth will be fostered, including through sports and cultural activities, language learning, and education. In fostering respect and understanding, as well as combating discrimination, the power and positive impact of civil society, faith-based organizations, and the media, including social media, will be harnessed.
- One of the primary objectives of the global compact (para 7) is to facilitate access to durable solutions, including by planning for solutions from the outset of refugee situations. Eliminating root causes is the most effective way to achieve solutions. In line with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, political and security cooperation, diplomacy, development and the promotion and protection of human rights are key to resolving protracted refugee situations and preventing new crises from emerging. At the same time, addressing the causes of refugee movements can take time. The programme of action therefore envisages a mix of solutions, adapted to the specific context and taking into account the absorption capacity, level of development and demographic situation of different countries. This includes the three traditional durable solutions of voluntary repatriation, resettlement and local integration, as well as other local solutions and complementary pathways for admission to third countries, which may provide additional opportunities.
- As in previous sections in Part B, the elements set out below are intended to bring greater predictability, and to engage a wider range of States and relevant stakeholders, for the achievement of solutions. In particular:
– support will be provided for countries of origin, and host countries where appropriate, upon their request, to facilitate conditions for voluntary repatriation, including through Global Refugee Forums and Support Platforms;
– offers of resettlement and complementary pathways36 will be an indispensable part of the arrangements set out in Part A; and
– while local integration is a sovereign decision, those States electing to provide this or other local solutions will require particular support.
36 Made in line with para 4 above.
37 A/RES/72/150, para 39; ExCom Conclusions No.: 90 (LII) (2001), (j); 101 (LV) (2004); 40 (XXXVI) (1985).
38 In line with ExCom Conclusion No. 101 (LV) (2004).
39 As recognized, e.g., in ExCom Conclusion No. 112 (LXVII) (2016), (7). See also para 8 on the need for collaboration and action in addressing root causes of protracted refugee situations.
41 Including in line with UNHCR’s mandate for returnee monitoring: ExCom Conclusions No.: 40 (XXXVI) (1985), (l); 101 (LV) (2004), (q); 102 (LVI) (2005), (r).
3.1 Support for countries of origin and voluntary repatriation
- Voluntary repatriation in conditions of safety and dignity remains the preferred solution in the majority of refugee situations.37 The overriding priorities are to promote the enabling conditions for voluntary repatriation in full respect for the principle of non-refoulement, to ensure the exercise of a free and informed choice38 and to mobilize support to underpin safe and dignified repatriation. It is recognized that voluntary repatriation is not necessarily conditioned on the accomplishment of political solutions in the country of origin, in order not to impede the exercise of the right of refugees to return to their own country.39 It is equally recognized that there are situations where refugees voluntarily return outside the context of formal voluntary repatriation programmes, and that this requires support. While enabling voluntary repatriation is first and foremost the responsibility of the country of origin towards its own people, the international community as a whole stands ready to provide support, including to facilitate sustainability of return.
- Accordingly, without prejudice to ongoing support to host countries, the international community as a whole will contribute resources and expertise to support countries of origin, upon their request, to address root causes, to remove obstacles to return, and to enable conditions favourable to voluntary repatriation. These efforts will take into account existing political and technical mechanisms for coordinating humanitarian, peacebuilding and development interventions, and be in line with the 2030 Agenda. In some contexts it is useful for relevant States and UNHCR to conclude tripartite agreements to facilitate voluntary repatriation.
- In addition, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to support countries of origin upon their request with respect to social, political, economic and legal capacity to receive and reintegrate returnees, notably women, youth, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. This may include support for development, livelihood and economic opportunities and measures to address housing, land and property issues. Contributions will be provided for direct repatriation support to returnees in the form of cash and other assistance, where appropriate. Depending on the context, concerned countries may seek technical guidance on measures to avoid further forced displacement on return (internal or cross-border), and to take into account the situation of internally displaced and non-displaced resident populations.40 Relevant stakeholders will work with national and local authorities, as appropriate, to support information sharing on protection risks in areas of return and the establishment of systems for analysis of such risks.41
- Apart from being a tool for protection of and solutions for refugees, resettlement is also a tangible mechanism for burden- and responsibility-sharing and a demonstration of solidarity, allowing States to help share each other’s burdens and reduce the impact of large refugee situations on host countries. At the same time, resettlement has traditionally been offered only by a limited number of countries. The need to foster a positive atmosphere for
resettlement, and to enhance capacity for doing so, as well as to expand its base, cannot be overstated.
- Contributions will be sought from States,42 with the assistance of relevant stakeholders,43 to establish, or enlarge the scope, size, and quality of, resettlement programmes.44 In support of these efforts, UNHCR – in cooperation with States and relevant stakeholders – will devise a three-year strategy (2019 – 2021) to increase the pool of resettlement places, including countries not already participating in global resettlement efforts; as well as to consolidate emerging resettlement programmes, building on good practices and lessons learned from the Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM) and regional arrangements. The strategy will identify, build links and provide support to new and emerging resettlement countries, including through expertise and other technical support, twinning projects, human and financial resources for capacity development, and the involvement of relevant stakeholders.
42 In line with para 4 above.
43 This could include UNHCR, IOM, civil society organizations, community groups, faith-based organizations, academia, individuals and the private sector.
44 In line with A/RES/71/1, Annex I, para 16.
45 Issuance of single voyage convention travel documents for the purposes of facilitating evacuation may be required. This could be facilitated by UNHCR on an exceptional basis.
46 Potentially in coordination with or as part of the Support Platform.
47 Including civil society, faith-based organizations, the private sector, employers, international organizations, individuals and academia.
- In addition, pledges will be sought, as appropriate, to establish or strengthen good practices in resettlement programmes. This could include the establishment of multi-year resettlement schemes; efforts to ensure resettlement processing is predictable, efficient and effective (e.g. by using flexible processing modalities that fully address security concerns to resettle at least 25 per cent of annual resettlement submissions within six months of UNHCR referral); ensuring that resettlement is used strategically, improving the protection environment and contributing to a comprehensive approach to refugee situations (e.g. by allocating places for the resettlement of refugees according to UNHCR’s resettlement criteria from priority situations identified by UNHCR in its annual projected global resettlement needs, including protracted situations; and/or e.g. dedicating at least 10 per cent of resettlement submissions as unallocated places for emergency or urgent cases identified by UNHCR); investing in robust reception and integration services for resettled refugees, including women and girls at risk; and the use of emergency transit facilities or other arrangements for emergency processing for resettlement, including for women and children at risk.45
- In specific situations, in light of their proven value, resettlement core groups will continue to facilitate a coordinated response, with due regard to protection needs and security considerations.46 More generally, all efforts under the global compact will align with the existing multilateral resettlement architecture, including the annual tripartite consultations on resettlement, the working group on resettlement and core groups, with a view to leveraging their added value.
3.3 Complementary pathways for admission to third countries
- As a complement to resettlement, other pathways for the admission of persons with international protection needs can facilitate access to protection and/or solutions. There is a need to ensure that such pathways are made available on a more systematic, organized, sustainable and gender-responsive basis, that they contain appropriate protection safeguards, and that the number of countries offering these opportunities is expanded overall.
- The three-year strategy on resettlement (section 3.2 above) will also include complementary pathways for admission, with a view to increasing significantly their availability and predictability. Contributions will be sought from States, with the support of relevant stakeholders,47 to facilitate effective procedures and clear referral pathways for family reunification, or to establish private or community sponsorship programmes that are additional to regular resettlement, including community-based programmes promoted through the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI). Other contributions in terms of complementary pathways could include humanitarian visas, humanitarian corridors and other humanitarian admission programmes; educational opportunities for refugees (including women and girls) through grant of scholarships and student visas, including through partnerships between governments and academic institutions; and labour mobility opportunities for refugees, including through the identification of refugees with skills that are needed in third countries.
- Contributions will be sought to support the sharing of good practices, lessons learned and capacity development for new States considering such schemes (see above, para 47).
3.4 Local integration
- While voluntary repatriation remains the preferred solution in the majority of refugee situations, it is also important to support countries who elect to resolve a refugee situation locally. Local integration is a sovereign decision and an option to be exercised by States guided by their treaty obligations and human rights principles.48 A number of States have found it useful to move towards the local integration of refugees, including by providing durable legal status and naturalization, where appropriate, without prejudice to the specific situation of certain middle income and developing countries facing large-scale refugee situations.
48 As stated in ExCom Conclusion No. 104 (LVI) (2005), recital 1.
- Local integration is a dynamic and two-way process, which requires efforts by all parties, including a preparedness on the part of refugees to adapt to the host society, and a corresponding readiness on the part of host communities and public institutions to welcome refugees and to meet the needs of a diverse population. In low- and middle-income countries, additional financial and technical support from the international community is required to ensure successful local integration in a manner that takes into account the needs of both refugees and host communities.
- In support of countries opting to provide local integration, the international community as a whole will, in close cooperation with national authorities of host countries, contribute resources and expertise to assist with the development of a strategic framework for local integration. The capacity of relevant State institutions, local communities and civil society will be strengthened to support the local integration process (e.g. to address documentation issues; facilitate language and vocational training, including for women and girls). Support will be provided for programmes fostering respect and good relations and to facilitate access to livelihood opportunities for integrating refugees, including through analysis of economies in refugee hosting areas, taking into account local labour market assessments and skills profiles, including of women and young adults. Investments in areas where refugees will settle, in support of national development plans and strategies and in line with the 2030 Agenda, will be actively promoted, and regional frameworks which may complement national laws in offering pathways to durable legal status or naturalization for refugees will be explored, where appropriate.
3.5 Other local solutions
- In addition to local integration – where refugees find a durable solution to their plight – some host countries may elect to provide other local solutions to refugees. Such solutions entail interim legal stay, including to facilitate the appropriate economic, social and cultural inclusion of refugees, and are provided without prejudice to eventual durable solutions that may become available. Depending on the context and the needs identified by countries electing to provide other local solutions to refugees, States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise, including technical guidance on legal and institutional frameworks that foster the peaceful and productive inclusion of refugees and the well-being of local communities, and to address issues such as documentation and residence permits.
- Follow-up and review
- The international community as a whole will do its utmost to mobilize support for the global compact and the achievement of its objectives on an equal footing, through more predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing. This is a task for all States, together with relevant stakeholders. UNHCR will play a catalytic and supportive role in this endeavour, consistent with its mandate. Follow-up and review under the global compact will be primarily conducted through the Global Refugee Forum (held every four years unless otherwise decided); high-level officials’ meetings (held every two years between Forums); as well as annual reporting to the United Nations General Assembly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. States, UNHCR and relevant stakeholders will seek to coordinate the follow-up of the global compact in ways that foster coherence with other processes and actions related to people on the move.
- Success under the global compact will be assessed in terms of progress towards the achievement of its four objectives (para 7). Indicators in this regard will be developed for each objective ahead of the first Global Refugee Forum in 2019.
- The Global Refugee Forums will provide an important vehicle for States and other relevant stakeholders to take stock of progress towards the achievement of the objectives of the global compact. Forums will also provide an opportunity for States and relevant stakeholders to exchange good practices and experiences, both with respect to specific country or regional situations, as well as on a global level, and to review the ongoing efficacy of the arrangements for burden- and responsibility-sharing. The stocktaking at the Forums will be informed by the results of the process coordinated by UNHCR to measure the impact arising from hosting, protecting and assisting refugees (para 48), and a mechanism for tracking implementation of pledges and contributions, as well as measuring the impact of the global compact, established by UNHCR in close consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders.
- Biannual high-level officials’ meetings on the global compact will take place between Forums. They will be organized in conjunction with the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges. They will be open to all United Nations Member States and relevant stakeholders, and allow for “mid-term review” of progress, facilitate regular stocktaking and sustain momentum. The first meeting involving relevant officials at high level will take place in 2021.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will provide the annual update, in his/her regular report to the United Nations General Assembly, on progress made towards the achievement of the objectives of the global compact.
- States and relevant stakeholders will facilitate meaningful participation of refugees, including women, persons with disabilities, and youth, in Global Refugee Forums, ensuring the inclusion of their perspectives on progress. A digital platform developed by UNHCR and accessible to all will enable the sharing of good practices, notably from an age, gender, disability, and diversity perspective, in the application of the different elements of the global compact.
- The global compact has the potential to mobilize all relevant stakeholders in support of a shared agenda and collective outcomes. Together, we can achieve results that will transform the lives of refugees and host communities.