In response to the final pledges made by governments at the Global Refugee Forum which ended 18 December 2019, Oxfam said:
"Despite real strides taken to include more refugees at the Forum, where refugees have been represented on high-level panels alongside governments, business leaders, and UN agencies, only 2% of the total 3000 participants were refugees. Oxfam calls upon more governments and stakeholders to uphold their pledges to the refugees".
Victoria Nyoka, a refugee attending the forum from South Sudan who is currently living in Uganda said, “The organisers of this forum should have prioritized voices of refugees, particularly those from the grassroots level. While participants have made over 700 pledges, they need to move beyond fine words and put them into practice.”
“Oxfam gave up its seats on high level panels and meetings at this forum to ensure refugee voices can be heard. In the future, member states should ensure they include refugees at every high-level forum to its delegation,” said Danny Sriskandarajah, the Chief Executive at Oxfam Great Britain.
Millions of refugees remain at risk or are stuck in limbo because many countries are still failing to shoulder their fair share of responsibility for protecting people forced from home.
Member states, private sector foundations and UN agencies have signed a pledge on meaningful refugee participation. This was put forward by refugees from the Global Refugee-led Network which calls for refugees to be included in all decisions affecting their lives. Oxfam calls upon more stakeholders to sign this pledge.