By IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub

6 April 2018: UN Member States have conducted several rounds of consultations on a global compact on refugees, and a second draft is being prepared by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The global compact on refugees aims to: ease pressures on countries that welcome and host refugees; build self-reliance of refugees; expand access to resettlement in third countries and other complementary pathways; and foster conditions that enable refugees voluntarily to return to their home countries.

Adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) requested the High Commissioner to propose a global compact on refugees in his annual report in 2018. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued a zero draft of the compact on 5 February 2018, followed by consultations from 13-14 February. He issued the compact’s first draft on 9 March 2018 for consideration by UN Member States at consultations on 20-21 March and 10-11 April 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. To date, consultations have addressed the background and goals of the draft global compact, prevention and root causes, mechanisms for burden- and responsibility-sharing, follow-up arrangements, areas in need of support, such as reception and admission, meeting needs and supporting communities, and solutions.

Providing this update in a letter to UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, Grandi also notes that a second draft of the global compact will be prepared by his office ahead of the formal consultations scheduled for 8-9 May 2018. The global compact on refugees includes a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), as agreed to by UN Member States in the New York Declaration, as well as a programme of action to set out specific measures to operationalize the principles of the Declaration. In the first draft of the compact, the programme of action considers mechanisms for burden- and responsibility-sharing, including key tools such as funding, a multi-stakeholder approach and data and evidence. It also considers areas in need of support, with sections on reception and admission, meeting needs and supporting communities, and solutions.

On follow-up arrangements, the draft global compact notes that in consultation with “States and relevant stakeholders, UNHCR will develop a set of key indicators ahead of the first global refugee summit in 2019, in order to monitor and evaluate progress and outcomes of the global compact.” These indicators, it says, will complement efforts to ensure disaggregated data necessary for States to report progress on the SDGs and to meet the commitment to leave no-one behind. The draft global compact also states that the UNHCR will include, in his/her annual report to the UNGA, information on progress made in the application of the global compact, and will provide a platform to share good practices, “notably from a gender and age-sensitive perspective, in the application of the different elements of the global compact.” It adds that starting in 2021 and every three years thereafter, ministerial-level global refugee summits will provide an opportunity to make new pledges and to take stock of the implementation of previous ones.

The fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of formal consultations on the global compact are scheduled for 8-10 May, 12-13 June, and 3-4 July 2018, respectively. [UNHCR Letter and First Draft of the Global Compact on Refugees] [Refugee Compact Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Global Compact on Refugees Zero Draft] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on New York Declaration negotiations] [New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants]

Source:: IISD – International Negotiations

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