October 24, 2023 (KAMPALA, Uganda). The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Uganda convened a workshop to engage with members of parliament under the Parliamentary Forum on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons on Uganda’s preparation, convenorship and pledges to the 2023 Global Refugee Forum (GRF).
The workshop was also aimed at enhancing MPs’ understanding of the Global Refugee Forum and the relevance of the Global Compact on Refugees and its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Uganda’s Refugee response.
Uganda which hosts over 1.5 million refugees and almost 50,000 asylum seekers has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world and is prominent for its out of camp settlement where refugees are allocated land to enhance their self-reliance. Uganda also allows refugees the right to work and freedom of movement. Uganda is also a co-convener at the upcoming December 2023 Global Refugee Forum.
The two-day workshop that run from 24th to 25th October, 2023 in Kampala was also used to brief the MPs about the current updates of the refugee situation and operations in Uganda, the status of implementation of the 2019 pledges and newly constituted pledges ahead of the 2023 GRF. This followed a ministerial workshop convened to endorse the country’s pledges to the 2023 GRF.
IGAD is supporting the workshop under the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF-CRRF) support to the IGAD Support Platform on Forced Displacement, a mechanism to advocate and offer a comprehensive regional response to forced displacement in the IGAD Region.
In his opening remarks, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hon. Eng. Hillary Onek, emphasised the need for a multi stakeholder coordination and collaboration approach to the refugee response while underscoring the role of legislators in the fulfilment of the country pledges at the GRF and other international humanitarian obligations,
“We have not only the ability but the obligation to shape and influence policies that support the inclusion of refugee issues in government planning and to address critical issues in this sector,” said Onek.
The UNHCR Country Representative in Uganda, Matthew Crentsil requested MPs from refugee hosting areas to hold consultative meetings with their constituents and gather feedback to help understand the impact of hosting refugees, how to ease pressure on refugee-hosting districts and to benefit refugees and host communities. This, he said, could help in debate and passing laws through which the institutions of government endeavour to guide the country’s process.
The Parliamentary Forum on Refugees and IDPs formed in 2019 is made up of 64 MPs from constituencies across 14 refugee hosting districts in Uganda and is the law maker’s advocacy platform to support policy formulation for refugees, IDPs, asylum seekers and host communities.
Uganda has proposed five pledges for the upcoming 2023 GRF including support peace-building processes in durable solutions, pledges to create up to 300,000 viable economic opportunities for refugees and host communities by 2027 to enhance resilience and self-reliance and others in environment, climate change and energy, localising the refugee response and preparedness for transition management.
IGAD is proposing two regional mega pledges on durable solutions and climate action for displaced populations.
Mr. Innocent Ndahiriwe, the IGAD National Coordinator for Migration and Forced Displacement in Uganda while reading a speech by the IGAD Head of Mission to Uganda, Ambassador Lucy Daxbacher, congratulated the Government of Uganda for the successful Global Refugee Forum preparatory activities accomplished and applauded Uganda’s exemplary leadership in progressive refugee policies in the region while reaffirming IGAD’s support to national policy formulation procedures.
“IGAD commits to continue mobilising support for her Member States’ effort to respond to refugee needs and sustained solutions through our IGAD Support Platform.
Uganda is a co-convener of the 2023 Global Refugee Forum alongside Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan, and Niger.