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High-level Civil Society Event of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants

Photo of panel from UN photo

UN-NGLS organized the High-level Civil Society Event of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016 from 10:00am-12:30am in Conference Room 7 at UN Headquarters in New York. This event provided a unique space during the Summit, enabling refugees and migrants to dialogue with UN Member States about the commitments made in the Summit outcome document. The opening session had a special focus on the perspectives of young refugees from Syria on issues for resettlement, inclusion, and the Summit commitment to ensure that all children are in education within a few months of initial displacement, in safe learning environments. The opening session programme included the participation of: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Ms. Yusra Mardini, 18 year-old Syrian refugee now living in Germany, who swam for 3 hours in the Aegean Sea to push a boat to shore with 20 other refugees on board, and then became a swimmer as part of the Olympic Refugee Team; Ms. Muzoon Almellehan, 17 year-old Syrian refugee who lived in Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, and is now a campaigner with the Malala Fund; Lana (via live videoconference), 11 year-old Syrian refugee living in Jordan who shared her dream to attend school via video sent by Save the Children to UN-NGLS in July; Ms. Megan Smith, United States Chief Technology Officer; and Ms. Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. Moderator: Ms. Susan Alzner, Head of the UN-NGLS NY Office.  Read More for the full event programme and video.

Programme for the 2 hour Dialogue, which followed the opening session

H.E. Ambassador David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations

Ms. Michele Klein Solomon, Senior Policy Advisor to the Director General of the International Organization for Migration
Member State speakers:

H.E. Mr. Joe McHugh, Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid, Ireland

H.E. Ambassador Martin Shearman, Ambassador of Development and Human Rights, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations

Ms. Catherine Wiesner, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, United States Department of State

Refugee and migrant speakers:

Winnie Byanyima - Oxfam

Salim Youssef Salama - Palestinian League for Human Rights, Syria

Oscar Chacon - Alianza Americas

Zrinka Bralo - Migrants Organise

Sabah Hallak - Syrian League for Citizenship

Mina Jaf - Women Refugee Route

Dolores De Rico - Canadian Council for Refugees

Sarah Mardini - She is Syria

Maria Alabdeh - Women Now for Development Syria

Zaynab Ali Abdi - Malala Fund

Anoyara Khatun - Save the Children

Luis Canales - Center for Migration Studies

Hadia Zarzou - Syrian Community Network

Deborah Valencia - DIWATA and Melissa, Greece

Colin Rajah - Migrants Rights International, Global Coalition on Migration

Eni Lestari - International Migrants Alliance

Women's Regional Network Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

Nwe Oo - Women's League of Burma

Closing remarks:

H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

We also encourage you to watch this dialogue between UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Ms. Eni Lestari of International Migrants Alliance, which took place in the UNGA SDG Media Zone on 19 September: http://webtv.un.org/search/overview-of-the-importance-of-the-un-summit-for-refugees-and-migrants-sdg-media-zone/5132036197001

We hope you will have the opportunity to listen to the important perspectives and recommendations from these speakers on the critical issues of concern for refugees and migrants.

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.


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