World leaders met with significant fanfare in New York in September 2016 for the UN Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, with the aim of developing a more humane and coordinated approach by Member States to address sizable movements of refugees and migrants. The following day, President Obama convened a Leaders Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis, and private-sector leaders also met to focus on ways to respond to the rising humanitarian crisis.
Though the UN Summit fell short of producing the outcomes sought by many in the advocacy world, it did result in a New York Declaration where UN Member States affirmed the benefits of migration, standardized international protection of migrants and refugees, committed to programs to counter xenophobia and discrimination, affirmed international cooperation and responsibility sharing for refugee protection and solutions, and committed to draft a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration and a Global Compact on Refugees by 2018. The Obama summit gathered commitments from countries to resettle 360,000 refugees and rallied an estimated $650 million from business leaders to empower refugees and improve their lives.
In this webinar, experts Kathleen Newland, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, and Gregory Maniatis discuss the impacts of the summits and whether these efforts will gain enough momentum to respond capably to the complex threats that refugees and migrants are facing. Will these international efforts propel states towards an international strategy to deal with migration and its associated challenges, and create a framework for innovative solutions to issues arising in the management of migration? Or will the millions of individuals who are forced to flee because of conflict, violence, climate change, food insecurity, and other reasons be left with empty promises and a still-broken protection system?