07 December 2011

Ministerial Meeting, 7-8 Dec. 2011

The year-long commemorations for the anniversaries of UNHCR and the refugee and statelessness conventions will culminate in a high-level meeting of government officials in Geneva on 7-8 December 2011. The objective is for States to: 1) "make concrete pledges to address specific forced displacement and/or statelessness issues, as well as broader, forward-looking recommendations"; 2) accede to the 1951 Convention relating to Status of Refugees and/or the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and/or remove any reservations placed on them; and 3) adopt "a Ministerial Communiqué - a short, non-binding, political statement capturing the main challenges relating to statelessness and refugee protection today."

UNHCR has circulated guidance notes with suggestions for the types of pledges that States might make (see here and here). More specifically, here are recommendations for U.S. pledges from Human Rights First and UNHCR's Washington office. The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) has also compiled a list of key resources to support States in the pledging process. NGOs will likely present their recommendations via ICVA.

The conference will be streamed live. Interested parties can also follow developments via UNHCR's Twitter feed.

Go to this news story for links to the High Commissioner's opening statement, the U.S. Secretary of State's remarks and a video message from the UN Secretary-General.

Also available are remarks by the head of the U.S. delegation, the speech made by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, the Holy See's statement, and the Kenyan immigration minister's statement.

Stay tuned!

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