Migration – 3rd Thematic Session on International Cooperation

June 19 and 20 at the UN in Geneva the 3rd Thematic Session on Migration is in progress.  The theme is ‘International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’  The GSIJP Office is represented by Cecilie Kern.  She is accompanied by Colleen Cloonan of the Mercy Global Action at the UN.   Cecilie will delver a joint statement on behalf of both organizations.  The statement is a response to the Issues Brief #3 and supplemented by  experiences from Theresa Symons (MDO Office – Asia Pacific), Magdalena Saavedra from the Philippines and Mercy Global Action office at the UN.

Clare Nolan did an article for Global Sisters Report  in January 2017 based on the experiences of Theresa and Magdalena following the Global Forum on Migration in Dhaka, Bangledesh.

Colleen Cloonan, Cecilie Kern and Winifred Doherty 

Tomorrow June 20th is World Refugee Day 2017.  A separate compact is being prepared to address the issue of Refugees.  Read this article  “Crisis in South Sudan, world’s fastest growing refugee emergency.”

We express appreciation to Sr Regina Hanko of the Province of Austria-Switzerland and Czech Republic for preparing the prayer this month.   English  French and Spanish     See more at Spanish French and English

Here is another prayer in English that has come in my e-mail –  World Refugee Day 2017 Prayer Service

According to the United Nation there are an estimated 58 million people displaced worldwide, 2.3 million asylum seekers, and 34 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries. António Guterres announced “These truly are alarming numbers. They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts and promoting timely solutions for them. The time is NOW to show that the global public stands with refugees.” (Facts and figures: UNHCR assessed April 2016) Taken from the prayer service prepared by ‘Becoming Neighours, Toronto’  See more  

 

In solidarity with our Mission Partners in Syria and Lebanon – English/Spanish/French

georgette-2These days at the United Nations we are discussing much about the situation of Refugees and Migrants in preparation for the High Level Summit for Refugees and Migrants taking place on 19 September, 2016.  I want to ask you to join me in solidarity with our sisters and mission partners in Syria and Lebanon in what is a desperate situation for them and their people.  Sr. Georgette Tannoury, our NGO Regional Designate for ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) prepared the following Powerpoint. Let us be in solidarity with them and indeed with all refugee and migrant peoples throughout the world.   Open Powerpoint

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En estos días, en las Naciones Unidas, estamos discutiendo mucho sobre la situación de los Refugiados y de los Migrantes en preparación para la Cumbre de Alto Nivel que se llevará a cabo el 19 de septiembre de 2016.  Deseo pedirles que se unan a mí en la solidaridad con nuestras hermanas y compañeras de misión en Siria y Líbano en lo que es una situación desesperada para ellas y su gente.  La Hna Goergette Tannoury, designada regional de nuestra ONG para la CESPAO (Comisión Económica y Social para Asia Occidental) preparó el Powerpoint que sigue. Tomemos posición junto a ellas y, por supuesto, con todas las personas refugiadas y migrantes en todo el mundo.        Abra Powerpoint

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Ces jours-ci à l’ONU nous discutons beaucoup sur la situation des réfugiés et des migrants pendant la préparation du Sommet de haut niveau pour les réfugiés et migrants qui a lieu le 19 Septembre 2016. Je veux vous demander de vous joindre à moi, en solidarité avec nos sœurs et partenaires de la mission en Syrie et au Liban, dans ce qui est une situation désespérée pour eux et leur peuple. Sr Georgette Tannoury, notre désignée régionale ONG pour la CESAO (Commission économique et sociale pour l’Asie occidentale) a préparé le Powerpoint suivant. Soyons solidaires avec eux, avec tous les réfugiés et populations migrantes dans le monde entier.   Ouvrez Powerpoint

 

 

Girls Ambassadors from Ireland share their stories and experiences #childrenfirst

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Minahil and Natasha from Zimbabwe and Pakistan  shared their experiences and called for action.  Minahil and Natsha  arrived in Ireland some years ago and are passionate advocates for refugee children around the world. Listen to the interview.

They also spoke at the Vigil on Sunday evening.

Good Friends and ardent child activists were present.  Captured in the crowd was Leymah Gbowee who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.   She addressed the people gathered towards the end of the vigil.

 

Another Historic Moment at the UN The signing of the agreement between between UN and IOM

un-refugee_284x158The ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’  was adopted this morning at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly 71st Session High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants / High-level plenary meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants.  Access to text in 6 languages   A ceremony to mark the formalizing of an already old relationship (65 years) between United Nations and  the IOM (International Organization for Migrants) also took  place.  All is on webcast HERE  The list of speakers at the opening session:

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My pick H.E. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms Nadia Taha, Yazda – Iraq.

 

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Eni Lestari Andayani Adi. (Indonesia) Chairperson, International Migrant’s Alliance (IMA) addressing the Summit.  The text of ALL statements are HERE

Civil society has made a response to the NY Declaration for Refugees and Migrants urging world leaders to take  7 actions  to make a new deal for refugees, migrants and societies a reality.  This document is in English, SpanishFrench and I have endorsed it on behalf of us all.  ‘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 (IDP’s) in need of protection, safe passage, solidarity, inclusion, decent work and livelihoods, and for the societies that host them.’ The 7 actions are presented as actions that can made that difference.

To our Position Paper on Migration we must now add this new declaration on Refugees and Migrants and analyze the 7 action proposed by civil society as to how each one of us and our governments can make a change.

  1. Translate the New York Declaration at national and local level
  2. Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework  with UNHCR and develop a Global Compact for Refugees no later than 2018
  3. Review national border policies to uphold the human rights of all people at international borders and implement gender-and age- sensitive guidelines to protect migrants in vulnerable situation
  4. End the practice of child immigration detention in accordance with the best interests of the child
  5. Commit to the development of Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration with civil society including migrants and refugees directly involved in the process from now until the Compact is achieved.
  6. Implement policies and vigorous campaigns at national and local levels to counter xenophobia, discrimination and racism
  7. Agree on concrete measures to improve the protection and assistance for internally displaced people

“Refugees and Migrants may lose many things when they move but never their human rights and fundamental dignity

Read more here  and see the SCORECARD evaluating the ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’ from civil society perspective.

 

 

 

“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.

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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.

 

 

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.

Winifred

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