ISSofBC Director co-chairs UN led refugee consultation

ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services co-chaired a UN led conference aimed at finding solutions to refugee resettlement issues around the world.

Every year countries resettling refugees meet with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and NGOs at the Annual Tripartite Conference on Resettlement (ATCR) in Geneva. This year Chris Friesen, ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services co-chaired the ATCR for Canada.

“The number of people currently in situations of displacement has hit 45 million worldwide, the highest figure for 14 years according to the UNHCR. While the global resettlement needs now stand at almost 700,000, not including the massive outflow of refugees fleeing the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, the number of annual quota places for UNHCR submissions sits at 86,000, roughly one-eighth of the actual need,” Friesen said in his opening statement at the conference.

ATCR has become an important vehicle for UNHCR’s cooperation with governments and NGOs and a mechanism to enhance partnership. The conference offers a forum to review progress on resettlement issues during the year and to re-focus and shape a joint strategy on resettlement.

“The tripartite nature of this global dialogue has never been more important. Our ability to come together as partners to openly discuss, share and learn from each other while tackling some of today’s most complex challenges confronting refugee resettlement and protection, can and must enhance our collective responsibility to address the growing population of refugees worldwide,” Friesen said.

Approximately 200 delegates from around the world took part in this year’s ATCR July 1 to 3.

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