“Civil society laments uneven commitments and lack of urgency to deliver a new deal”

“Civil society laments uneven commitments and lack of urgency to deliver a new deal” is the heading of the Civil Society Joint Statement and Score Card just released and open for sign ons.  Congregation of Our lady of Charity of the Good shepherd have endorsed this statement (but only after September 13th so not showing on the list posted).   This statement laments governments’ uneven commitments and lack of urgency to deliver a real new deal for refugees and migrants at the UN Summit, and urges states to take seven immediate actions to truly make a “difference on the ground for the millions of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people (IDPs) in need of protection, safe passage, solidarity, inclusion, decent work and livelihoods, and for the societies that host them”.

The starting point for Civil Society was the ‘New Deal for Refugees, Migrants and Societies’ at the Summit, and later they put forward 5 key tests of success.  The scorecard concludes that the declaration, meets only some of the tests, and even then only in part, while failing on other.

The statement continues ‘overall, the real and immediate test is whether the Summit will be able to make a difference on the ground for the millions of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people (IDPs) in need of protection, safe passage, solidarity, inclusion, decent work and livelihoods, and for the societies that host them. We urge states, working in partnership with the UN and civil society, to take seven immediate actions to make that difference on the ground.  (see first link).

On Sunday 18 September there is a meeting for and by civil society on advocacy for refugees and migrants after the 19th September UN Summit.  Background and Program for 18 September

(Note the Outcome document of the 19 September UN Summit is not called the  “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants”).

Both Cecilie Kern and I – your representatives – will be attending the civil society meeting and we each have received tickets to attend two session of the Summit on September 19th.  Yolanda Sanchez (GSIJP Office Geneva)  is in the picture too remembering when we found the plaque marking the home of Fr Joesph Wresinski, in Angers, France, founder of ATD4th World.




The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 19

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Photo and link to the summit page which is available in the 6 languages of the United Nations 

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.

peter_thomson_january_2015The 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.




Final Agenda for Rome 2016 Conference: The Religious and Migration in the 21st century perspective, response and challenges started today in Rome.  It will continue tomorrow February 24th.  Good Shepherd are well represented in this conference responding to our Congregational Direction Statement.  Some photographs that I found on Facebook


Migration ConferenceHanan Youssef, Monique Tarabeth,  Zelna Oosthuizen (Rome) and Rita Kileen (Ireland)

The Refugee Crisis: Rethinking and Strengthening the Response – DPI-NGO Briefing

The DPI -NGO (Department of Information) briefing this morning – The Refugee Crisis: Rethinking and Strengthening the Response.  The briefing is recorded on Webcast   See the agenda for today and list of panel presenters HERE   Karen AbuZayd,  is the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. The summit will be held at the General Assembly on 19 September 2016. Presently there is a request to share any written submissions outlining your concerns, expectations and specific recommendations about what the United Nations should achieve at the Summit in New York on 19 September 2016. Written submissions may be directed by email to the following address: Calhoun@un.org. Please share your submission by 29 February.

I made an intervention Marker 1.15 on the Webcast  While having had good input from Sr Hanan I really used the opportunity to say that Good Shepherd have been in Lebanon/Syria for 123 years and to make reference to root causes –  military expenditures.  There are resources – how stop selling arms that create the problem in the first place?  How can the political powers – and we heard of political will this morning – let go of self interest in the interest of the person who is being made a refugee through no fault of their own? How can we stop the terrorists groups?  I drew these ideas from our Chapter Declaration.


The link with Sustainable Development Goals was also made: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.  Read more about Goal 16