Read in Spanish.
MADRID - The office in Spain of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, is organizing the Forum Spain with Refugees, an initiative whose objective is to mobilize Spanish civil society and generate contributions and commitments that improve the inclusion and integration of refugees as well as different groups in need of international protection in Spain and worldwide.
This Forum in Spain will be an unprecedented meeting prior to the second edition of the Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which will take place in December 2023 in Geneva, and whose quadrennial meeting began in 2019. This is one of the most important international meetings for governments and administrations, civil society, academia as well as public and private donors to publicly make contributions aimed at improving the lives of refugees around the world.
For the Forum Spain with Refugees, UNHCR will prioritize contributions and concrete proposals that promote socio-economic and community inclusion, access to higher and vocational education, the nexus between public and private sectors for reception of refugees, and international cooperation. Contributions can be made online through this website and will be registered in a UNHCR database at the global level and will be added to the contributions made at the Global Forum on Refugees.
A team of refugee advisors of different nationalities and professional backgrounds has been working with UNHCR Spain for several months providing orientation and supporting the mobilization of commitments. "This group is our most valuable asset for the Forum, since no one better than the refugees themselves know the reality of the situation, the needs and the processes of inclusion and integration" said Sophie Muller, UNHCR representative in Spain. "They have experienced exile first hand and are giving their full support to many other people in Spain, refugees and locals, through associations and other channels," added Muller.
Around June 20, World Refugee Day, UNHCR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, which co-organizes the Forum, will hold an event in Madrid to highlight the most important contributions received from different areas.
The number of people forcibly displaced by war, persecution and human rights violations globally now exceeds 100 million and, in this line, the number of asylum applications has also grown considerably in Spain. Therefore, strengthening international cooperation and supporting initiatives for the inclusion and integration of refugees is more urgent than ever. Spanish society has been one of the most supportive in the world and we must continue to channel and promote this solidarity with the aim of protecting more and better refugees. With this initiative, UNHCR also seeks to raise awareness and demonstrate that each and every person can do something to make a difference in the lives of refugees, in the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees.