The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, welcome the adoption of a resolution and publication of a report in support of refugees by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The PACE resolution, the “Role of parliaments in implementing the United Nations Global Compacts for Migrants and Refugees” encourages European parliamentarians to champion and apply the principles and arrangements outlined in the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration.
“Parliamentarians have a crucial role to play in helping protect refugees. Their engagement is essential in preserving access to asylum, facilitating refugee integration, addressing the root causes that give rise to displacement, and also supporting other refugee host countries,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.
“In the face of pressing refugee protection challenges, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, this Resolution could not be timelier and is an example of solidarity in action. UNHCR welcomes its adoption and we look forward to continue our support to Parliaments to ensure its objectives, in support of refugees, are realized.”
The report identifies the urgent need, in the face of COVID-19, for parliaments to actively promote solidarity towards refugees and migrants at home and abroad, highlighting the universal values of humanity and dignity for all.
“Parliaments need to put in place legislative and budgetary measures that will help manage refugee causes and create environments where refugees and host communities can live together,” said Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU. “ In the conclusion to the 142nd IPU Assembly held last week, our Member Parliaments confirmed that the post-Covid world will only be better if we have the courage to take bold measures to protect the rights of men and women, including refugees. We have the tools to do it. What we need now is the political will.”
UNHCR’s global-level partnership with the IPU led to the submission of a pledge at the Global Refugee Forum by the IPU to support the Global Compact on Refugees and the #IBelong campaign to end Statelessness. The PACE resolution and report are good examples of parliamentary initiatives to support progress in implementing the Global Compact on Refugees.
The IPU is the global organization of national parliaments. It was founded more than 130 years ago as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU comprises 179 national Member Parliaments and 13 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced and more diverse. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world. Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1,500 parliamentary delegates and partners in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to global governance, including the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.