MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE CITIES IN INTERNATIONAL DEBATES ON REFUGEE MATTERS!
The Geneva Cities Hub (GCH) was invited by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to take part in the 2020 High Commissioner’s Protection dialogue closing session (9 December 2020) and in the Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the founding of UNHCR (18 January 2021).
During those online events, the GCH had the opportunity to highlight that cities are actually the home to the vast majority of refugees and IDPS and therefore often the first responders to refugee and migration flows. Thus, cities belong to those much needed and “new” actors that can contribute to the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, including by providing protection, means of livelihood, future perspectives and above all, hope to the displaced. Indeed, cities are on all fronts with innovative and inclusive practices to protect and assist displaced populations.
However, cities’ needs far exceed their capacities. That is why, together with its partner the Mayors Migration Council, the Geneva Cities Hub called upon the international community to ensure that cities get more resources and easier access to international funds. International Geneva stakeholders should help cities on that point.
In addition, “cities need a real role in global policy making, since their pragmatic solutions might actually enable a dispassionate and depoliticized international debate about the refugee challenges”, recalled the GCH. This stands at the very heart of the GCH’s mission, which is to better connect cities to International Geneva, and the GCH will support UNHCR in relation thereto.