First Formal Consultation on Draft of the Global Compact on Refugees

The first formal consultation in relation to the zero draft of the Global Compact on Refugees took place in New York in February.

The draft has its origins in the 2016 New York Declaration when all UN member states agreed to work towards the adoption of a global agreement to improve international practice with regard to refugees. The agreement aimed:-
– to ease pressures on countries hosting large numbers of refugees
– to enhance refugee self-reliance
– to expand third-country solutions for refugees, and
– to support conditions in countries of origin to facilitate return in safety and dignity.

The zero draft prepared by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) highlights:-
– the importance of cooperation between States in ensuring that refugees are protected and long-term solutions achieved
– the increasingly urgent issue of how refugees should be treated prior to a decision being made on their status, and
– how to facilitate greater investment and involvement of different stakeholders in responding to mass movements of people in the future.

The draft Compact will form the basis of formal consultations with Member States led by the UNHCR, between February and July of 2018. These consultations are intended to result in the formulation of a final text of the Compact, to be presented to the UN General Assembly later in 2018.

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