Global Compact for Refugees Consultations
Fourth Formal Consultation: 8-10 May
Fifth Formal Consultation: 12-13 June
Sixth Formal Consultation: 3-4 July
In 2016, all 193 Member States in the United Nations agreed on the New York Declaration for Migrants and Refugees, which recognizes that protecting migrants and refugees and supporting host countries are an international responsibility. The declaration tasked UNHCR with creating a Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), which contains two parts: The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), and a program of action that builds on the CRRF and sets out measures for all stakeholders to share responsibility and cooperate effectively in the response to refugee crises. To do so, the UNHCR held six formal consultations with governments and other stakeholders to develop the document. Education Above All (EAA) contributed to the GCR during the fourth, fifth and sixth formal consultations.
In advance of the fourth formal consultation, EAA contacted Qatar Mission in Geneva to articulate key priorities for the State of Qatar to raise during the discussion. Additionally, EAA submitted a written contribution to UNHCR as member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The statement reiterated similar points that were shared with Qatar Mission. EAA advocated for a stronger emphasis on the recognition and validation of qualifications for refugees and migrants in the document, referencing Annex 2 – Content of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, to support our position.
Since member states were arguing for a shorter version of the consultation, EAA chose to send a delegate, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to the fifth formal consultation. The EAA delegate offered insight to the Convention on the issue of validation and recognition of certification to highlight its importance and to ensure its inclusion in the final version of the document.
To solidify the incorporation of the inclusion of validation and recognition of certification issues in the GCR, EAA used the sixth formal consultation to lobby with important stakeholders in the UN system. EAA’s delegate requested two UN agencies, UNESCO and UNICEF, to call for refugee and IDP needs on education validation, certification and accreditation. The EAA delegate also spoke to the co-chair and chief of drafting secretariat to ensure EAA’s suggestions were considered. Furthermore, EAA submitted a written statement to the UNHCR secretariat for their consideration while finalizing the GCR, and to be posted on UNHCR’s dedicated webpage for GCR.
Moving forward, the GCR document calls for a forum to be held in 2019, 2021 and every four years thereafter. The forum will be an opportunity to obtain new pledges and review progress. EAA will continue to advocate for the issues of validation, accreditation and certification for refugees and migrants at the December GEM meeting and the High-Level Political Forum 2019.