UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants
On 19 September 2016 Member States adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants during the General Assembly’s high-level meeting. The theme was “addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, also called the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The Declaration includes commitments to protect their rights, to save lives, and to achieve a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for protecting and assisting refugees. It also features a two-year process to develop two global compacts, one on refugees and one for “safe, orderly and regular migration.” If you would like to read it, Here it is in all 5 UN languages! (language buttons at top left.)
“The Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility”, said the Secretary-General during the opening segment. He urged Member States to take concrete steps to implement the New York Declaration and launched a global campaign called “Together — Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” as a response to the rising xenophobia and intolerance being directed toward refugees and migrants in many countries.
Migrants and refugees themselves had an opportunity to address the international community and share their stories with the world. “After years of being voiceless and invisible, we the migrants are finally welcomed here to speak,” said Eni Lestari, chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance, in addressing world leaders during the Summit’s opening. “We are the people who have been denied the future, the rights and the dream we used to imagine.” As part of the opening ceremony, the Secretary-General and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed an agreement establishing the IOM as a related organization of the United Nations. Closer collaboration between the IOM and the rest of the UN system is expected to significantly strengthen the UN’s capacity to respond in times of crisis, and its ability to contribute to improvements in the global governance of migration.
Missed it? The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, including its opening and closing segments, plenary meetings and round tables, and the SDG Media Zone dialogues are available on UN Web TV.
For more information: UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants