The United Nations General Assembly is hosting the first ever summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants and it is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response. It is a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants. The Summit is starts at 8.30 a.m. and concludes at 8.00 p.m. You can access the programme at HERE. Together with the opening and closing ceremonies there are 6 round tables covering various themes. The line up of opening speakers is impressive. The summit coincides with the opening of the 71st Session of the General Assembly.
The new President, H.E. Peter Thomson is from Fiji. Included in the opening is the signing ceremony of the UN-IOM Agreement. Prince Zeid, High Commissioner for Human Rights will also be present. Nadia Taha who was abducted into slavery by ISIS is also a member of the panel. I have written about her previously on this blog.
In February 2016, the outgoing President of the General Assembly H.E Mogens Lykketoft appointed H.E. Mrs. Dina Kawar, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and H.E. Mr. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland as co-facilitators to lead open, transparent and inclusive consultations with Member States to finalise the organisational arrangements, including on a possible outcome, for the High level summit in September.
If you are working with refugees and migrants you may wish to review the draft political declaration which will be adopted at the Summit. Draft Declaration Unfortunately the documents seem to be only available in English at the moment.
You can read in all 6 languages the Resolution of agreement concerning the Relationship between the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration Click HERE
The list of speakers during the Plenary is also published. Do check the list HERE and see who is speaking on behalf of your country. The agreement with IOM and the Political Declaration are to help not hinder you in addressing the needs of refugees and migrants.
Other events taking place in around the summit can be found HERE I am attending the Children First Vigil organized by UNICEF and US Fund for UNICEF on September 18th from 5.00 – 6.30 at Dag Hammrskjold Plaza. I have registered to attend the summit but access is not easy. Having made application I received the following on August 25th “Dear Winifred Doherty Thank you for your application to attend the 19 September 2016 United Nations General Assembly Summit for Refugees and Migrants, taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
You have been approved for participation in at least one session of the Summit programme. To determine if applicants can have access to more than one Summit session, we are asking all approved applicants to reconfirm their ability to attend via a very short form.*See note below.*Note: We will follow up with you again next week regarding how many sessions you can access, after we see the responses to the re-confirmation form. As your representative I expect to be able to attend at least one of the sessions.
On the website there is a take action tab with the following suggestions
- Tweet your world leader and ask them to protect the rights of refugees and migrants (the names of the person attending are on the list above)
- Share our refugee and migrant movement infographics which are based on official UN data
- Join in the conversation using #UN4RefugeesMigrants (If you have a Facebook or Twitter Account) Use the infographics too
On May 9th Secretary General Ban Ki Moon launched his report in Safety and Dignity: Addressing large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. READ
Please use the comment box to add your views and share information about refugees and migrants that you know.