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GRF High-Level Side Event Calls for Scaled-up Action on Housing and Land for Refugees (+Video)

The 2023 Global Refugee Forum high-level side event on 'Secure Housing, Land and Property Rights - From Emergency Response to Durable Solutions', was held Friday 15, December before a mixed audience of senior government officials, civil society leaders, and representatives of UN system partners. The event saw keynote addresses by Mr. Haoliang Xu, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Mr. Erfan Ali, Chief of Staff within the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

The event, which was moderated by Mr. Mamadou Dian Balde, Director of UNHCR's Regional Bureau for the East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes, sounded an important call for greater partnerships and scaled-up efforts in further aligning national and local-level policies and strategies with existing knowledge on how insecure tenure serves as a driver and consequence of conflict and forced displacement – and the overall impact on local communities.

In this regard, participants were able to glean from the insights of a high-powered line-up of panelists whose work in local and regional contexts, exemplify the vision of the Co-conveners of the Multistakeholder Pledge on 'Durable Solutions through Secure Housing, Land and Property Rights', for locally-led, fit-for-purpose and scalable initiatives that create clear pathways to sustainable return and reintegration, local integration and other local solutions.

The panel comprised Mr. Jakub Mazur, Deputy Mayor of the City of Wroclaw, Poland; Mrs. Natalie Roque, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Human Rights, Government of the Republic of Honduras; Hon. Martin Niteretse, Minister in the Ministry of Interior, Republic

of Burundi; Ms. Elizabeth Moreno Barco, Human Rights Activist and 2023 Nansen Regional

Award Winner (Americas); Mr. Chris Lukkien, Chief Executive Officer, ZOA International; and Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of the Agriculture and Business Enabling Environment

Section, UNECA, and Coordinator of the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC).

With a total of 31 new pledges – including commitments from 16 Member States, 7 International Organizations, 6 Civil Society Organizations, and 2 major private sector actors – the immediate priority of the core leadership of the Multistakeholder Pledge will be a systematic follow-up (in Q1 of 2024) on all commitments made thus far.

The call has however already been made for more financial and technical commitments towards ensuring that the Multistakeholder Pledge delivers on its promise of an increased proportion of forcibly displaced women, children and men with secure access to housing, land and property over the next four years.

Under the leadership of UN-Habitat, NRC and UNHCR, an appraisal of the 2023 GRF pledging process will be convened in February 2024, which is intended to inform the development of a robust strategy for pledge implementation, additional pledge mobilization and pledge matching.


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