Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit Geneva, Switzerland on December 17, Tuesday, where he will co-convene the first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) to address the plight of the refugees and highlight Pakistan’s humanitarian leadership in the region.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will be co-convening the Global Refugee Forum alongside Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and leaders from Germany, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica.
Curtain Raiser: Prime Minister Imran Khan to co-convene the First-Ever Global Refugee Forum #GRF in Geneva@MOFAPakistan @MOFAPakistan @pid_gov @RadioPakistan @appcsocialmedia pic.twitter.com/cxmE3afrYd
— Pakistan Mission to UN, Geneva (@PakUNGeneva) December 16, 2019
PM Khan at GRF
A press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in this regard, “The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Switzerland are co-hosting the GRF. Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with President Erdogan, and leaders from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Germany, have been invited to co-convene the forum in recognition of their exemplary role for the protection and well-being of refugees.”
The Global Refugee Forum marks the first major meeting to deliberate the protection and welfare of the refugees in the 21st century. The Forum will be jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency and the Government of Switzerland.
United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, will also address the Forum, alongside other leaders. The GRF is expected to encourage countries and international organizations to increase their support to handle the refugee crisis erupting across the globe.
The Foreign Office stated, “The Forum is expected to galvanize political support and solidarity and broaden the base of commitments from States, international organizations, private sectors and civil society to deal with the growing number of refugee situations across the world.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan will present Pakistan’s perspective, experience, and contribution in managing the Afghan refugees, and highlight Pakistan’s contributions for the past four decades.
The FO statement said in this regard, “The Prime Minister will articulate Pakistan’s perspective, experience, and contribution to the Afghan refugees. Co-convening of the GRF is recognition of Pakistan’s generosity, humanitarian leadership, and compassion of the people of Pakistan towards their Afghan brothers and sisters for the past forty years.”
At 70th ExCom UNHCR High Commissioner assured UNHCR support to show case Pak’s service for Afghan Refugees. High Comissioner acknowledged this longest service of Pakistan for mankind & peace of world. He forwarded wishes for @ImranKhanPTI for his upcoming visit in Dec to Geneva. pic.twitter.com/4YdSC7VhTX
— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) October 12, 2019
During his stay in Geneva, Prime Minister Imran Khan will engage in bilateral interaction with other leaders and the leadership of the United Nations. The Premier is also expected to attend a luncheon hosted by the UN Secretary-General.
According to the United Nations, Pakistan has hosted the largest population of refugees in the world. In the aftermath of the Afghanistan invasion in 1979, Pakistan witnessed an influx of Afghan refugees, which heightened by the end of 2001, when the US forces invaded the war-torn country.
Pakistan hosted an estimated four million refugees in its tribal belts and major cities across Punjab and Sindh. Presently, there are over 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees residing in the country. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to grant Pakistani citizenship to these 1.5 million Afghan refugees.