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The 2nd Formal Preparatory Meeting for the Global Refugee Forum
Statement by Humanitarian Affairs Attaché Martha Marrazza
May 17, 2023

Statement by Humanitarian Affairs Attaché Martha Marrazza

at the Second Formal Preparatory Meeting for the Global Refugee Forum 2023

Geneva, Switzerland

Thank you chair, and thanks to UNHCR.

We agree it will be critical to focus our collective efforts on a few key initiatives for each outcome to ensure tangible results at the GRF.

Regarding the draft program, we appreciate the plenary conversation with refugees and encourage UNHCR to keep the perspectives of refugees at the center of the GRF.

For our part, we have made good progress on our pledge implementation and will continue to implement our pledges over the next seven months.

We are also exploring additional opportunities to advance the Global Compact on Refugees in a few key contexts, namely Colombia, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

Today, I am pleased to announce a mega-pledge on Economic Inclusion and Social Protection, which aims to galvanize commitments from a wide range of stakeholders to advance the self-reliance of refugees, other forcibly displaced and stateless people, and host communities globally.

The pledge will advance economic inclusion and social protection through commitments on inclusive law and policy, data and evidence, programs, technical assistance, and financing mechanisms.

Co-convened by the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative and UNHCR with the United States and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa, the Economic Inclusion and Social Protection mega-pledge builds on the outcomes of the High Commissioner’s Protection Dialogue innovation lab on self-reliance in November 2022 and commitments made in 2019.

Technical co-conveners of this mega-pledge include: the International Labor Organization, the Poverty Alleviation Coalition, and the World Bank-UNHCR Joint Data Center.

This pledge will work along three thematic areas:

  • First, Law and Policy; we will work together to secure law reform or policy pledges supporting economic inclusion and social protection. This includes access to labor markets and decent work through the right to work and related rights.
  • Second, through Programs, Technical Assistance, and Financing, we aim to unlock decent work opportunities by supporting holistic economic inclusion and social protection programming, innovative funding approaches, and commitments from the private sector.
  • And, finally, Data and Evidence, to promote inclusion of forcibly displaced persons in national socio-economic data, measure their contribution to the local economy, and identify best practices related to economic inclusion and social protection.

We will hold a virtual introductory meeting for the mega-pledge on June 15th, where we will share more details. All interested states and stakeholders considering pledging within this theme are encouraged to join. If you are interested in getting involved, please talk to our colleagues at the RSRI and UNHCR’s Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Unit.

Thank you.