Ethiopia has officially endorsed policy pledges and commitments for the upcoming 2nd Global Refugee Forum (GRF) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2023.
These pledges are based on six crucial thematic areas that Ethiopia believes are vital for its national refugee response: Environmental Action, Human Settlement, Service Inclusion of Refugees in National Systems, Private Engagement, Access to Land and Digital Inclusion.
The endorsement was graced by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Ministers, State Ministers, Director Generals, Commissioners, Refugees and Returnees Service Director General Teyiba Hassen and UNHCR Ethiopia Representative Andrew Mbogori, among others.
Officiating the endorsement of the pledges, DPM and FM Demeke said: “… as protection is a serious concern, we need to leverage efforts to live up-to the expectations of refugees and asylum seekers in resorting assistance from our end.”
“… Ethiopia is among the front liners in facilitating conditions for refugees and asylum seekers to help them lead a secured and dignified life,” said UNHCR Representative also appreciating Ethiopia’s open hand to welcome and host refugees.
Representing IGAD, Fathia Alwan highlighted: “… this ministerial meeting is not just about pledges on paper; it’s about turning commitments into tangible results, strengthening partnership and building a more inclusive and equitable world for refugees.”
Welcoming the high-level gathering, RRS DG Teyiba Hassen underscored: “… the Government of Ethiopia endorsed the new pledges for GRF 2023, which is a proof to its commitment to improve the lives of refugees and their hosts.”
The new pledges represent the government’s commitment to attract funding and raise awareness for the comprehensive national refugee response.
The high-level ministerial gathering also reviewed the progress made on the pledges Ethiopia made at the 1st GRF held in 2019 where it convened in four key areas: Jobs and Livelihoods, Education, Protection and Energy and Environment.
Ministers of Irrigation and Lowlands, Water and Energy and Innovation and Technology plus State Ministers and higher officials of the Ministries of Women and Social Affairs, Health, Education, Agriculture, Labour and Skills, Urban and Infrastructure and Finance were in attendance. National ID Program, Immigration and Citizenship Service, Ethiopian Statistical Service and Ethiopian Investment Commission and relevant government agencies also took part on the event.