The Government of Pakistan, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is convening an International Conference to mark “40 years of Afghan Refugees Presence in Pakistan: A New Partnership for Solidarity”, on 17-18 February 2020.
The two-day Conference, to be held in Islamabad, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, Ministers and senior officials from around 20 countries, who have been supporting the Afghan refugees across the globe and in Pakistan, will be participating. In addition, senior level participation is expected from United Nations, multilateral developments banks, civil society and private sector.
This Conference is taking place at an important juncture when efforts at consolidating peace in Afghanistan are making progress.
Besides providing an opportunity to highlight the exemplary compassion, generosity and hospitality exhibited by Pakistan, in hosting one of the largest refugee populations in the world, the Conference will further identify key developments and milestones in the 40 years long evolution of the Afghan refugee situation; reflect on the lessons learned; identify the challenges; and discuss solutions for voluntary, dignified and sustainable repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan.
Pakistan is confident that the Conference will reinforce international efforts as agreed to in the UN Global Compact on Refugees and Global Refugee Forum to bring about a renewed focus on the Afghan refugees. It will also help in building a positive narrative on refugees, especially at a time when borders are being closed on them and millions are being made stateless under nationalistic and ideological pretences.