The Global Refugee Forum, a high-level meeting in Geneva co-organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Government of Switzerland, took place on 17 to 18 December 2019 with the participation of senior government officials, international financial organizations, business leaders, humanitarian and development actors, refugees, and civil society representatives. The Forum, which had aimed to translate the principles of the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees into concrete action, succeeded in securing wide-ranging and substantial commitments of support for refugees and the communities they live in, notably with important pledges of new long-term support for inclusion. These were in areas ranging from employment, to places in schools for refugee children, new government policies, solutions such as resettlement, the importance of clean energy, infrastructure and better support for host communities and countries.
Albania was represented by the Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, H.E. Gent Cakaj. During his speech to the Forum, outlining the three pledges being made by Albania, Mr. Cakaj emphasized a commitment to strengthen the protection and inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country, in collaboration with UNHCR, the EU and other international partners. Concluding, Mr. Cakaj expressed the readiness of Albania to participate and contribute to regional and international initiatives related to the protection and long-term solutions provided to refugees and asylum-seekers, referring particularly to Albania’s role as Chair-in-Office of the OSCE in 2020
The pledges made by Albania at the Global Refugee Forum are focused both on the integration of refugees, namely (1) Eliminating legal inconsistencies and administrative barriers preventing refugees and asylum seekers from effectively accessing rights; and (2) Issuing personal ID numbers and cards to refugees and asylum – seekers, facilitating effective access to right and personal security, and in increasing the country’s capacity to protect refugees by (3) Ensuring that asylum procedures are fair and efficient, and strengthening the quality of asylum decision making.
UNHCR has welcomed these three pledges made by Albania at the Global Refugee Forum and looks forward to continuing the strong partnership and cooperation in working towards them.