The Road to 2023: Assessing progress and accelerating delivery on the UN Common Pledges in advance of the next Global Refugee Forum - November 2021

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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At the 2019 Global Refugee Forum (GRF) the international community came together to demonstrate solidarity with the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them, and to make pledges aimed at engaging all stakeholders to build long-term solutions. A pledge made by the UN Secretary-General, and another made by the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, committed UN entities to consider refugees in their own analyses and plans, and to advocate with refugee hosting governments to facilitate refugees’ inclusion in national systems. These two pledges are the focus of this report.

UN Common Pledge

• We stand by refugees and will work with governments to include refugees and returnees in relevant development programmes.

• We will advocate for refugees and returnees to have access to national services in countries of origin, countries of transit and refugee-hosting countries.

• We will advocate for the inclusion of refugees and returnees in regional frameworks and national development plans and reviews, as well as the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. We will work to provide technical, financial and programming support to host countries for this purpose.
Inter-Agency Stranding

Committee (IASC) Pledge

• The IASC agencies will work with UNHCR and host governments to ensure that all our analysis, policies and response plans integrate the needs of refugees and displaced people.

• We pledge to systematically consider how to allocate technical, financial and programming support to host countries in line with the GCR and SDG pledge of Leaving No One Behind.

• The IASC member agencies commit to work with UNHCR to support refugees and host governments, to put the needs of refugees and returnees at the centre of humanitarian and development projects.

Co-authored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO), this report provides an account of progress to date in implementing these pledges; shares some of the learning generated so far; and outlines key strategic actions that the UN and others need to take in order to realize these commitments by 2023, when the next GRF will take place. The report draws on the following data sources:

  1. Results from a desk review of system-wide, country specific UN plans undertaken in April 2021 2. Responses from a survey compiled by a majority of UN agencies on actions taken by them to deliver against the pledges, undertaken between March and May 2021 3. Outcomes from a virtual stocktaking event on the pledges held on 26 May 2021.
    This report does not provide an exhaustive account of the many actions and adjustments across the UN system that are helping to realize the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). These include policy shifts such as the new Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), as well as structural changes linked to the reform of the UN development system; and the reconfiguration of the UN at regional level. Instead, this report offers an overview of trends in UN system-wide planning tools, and insights arising from the experience of those UN entities whose work includes a focus on refugee issues.
    The learning and key asks presented here are intended to inform discussions at the High-Level Officials Meeting in December 2021, where the international community will review how far the ambitions of the GCR have translated into concrete improvements in the lives of refugees and host communities. The idea is to examine progress made so far, identify accelerators, and set the strategic direction for the next round of pledging at the 2023 GRF.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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