Conference on International Cooperation in Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees in the Euro-Mediterranean Space on October 9-10, 2017 at the Tahrir Campus.
The refugee situation that has gripped the Middle East and Europe in the last few years is a tragedy for millions of children, women, and men seeking protection in bordering countries and in the larger neighborhood. Host countries have faced challenges providing refugees with basic needs and ensuring their livelihoods. Refugees fleeing persecution and violence are a common responsibility of the international community. Therefore, how to share responsibility for their protection and livelihoods is a crucial and persistent issue.
In this context, the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS), School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at the American University in Cairo (AUC) held a two-day Conference on International Cooperation in Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees in the Euro-Mediterranean Space on October 9 -1 0, 2017 at the Tahrir Campus in Cairo.
In the opening session on October 9, the Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy welcomed the participants and delivered a speech on the subject of the conference. Opening remarks were also made during the session by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt and the Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Following that, six panels were held on the 9th and 10th on subjects of refugee protection, the political discourse over refugees, the media and refugees, the migration-refugee nexus, the access of refugees to labor markets and ensuring livelihoods for refugees. Panelists were senior academics, researchers and experts from reputed universities and institutions in the Middle East, Europe and North America as well as representatives of international organizations. In two following plenary sessions, participants discussed reports on debates in the six panels. In the closing session, the academics, researchers and experts participating in the conference issued a statement meant as a contribution to the preparatory process leading up to the discussion and adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2018.
The conference attracted a large and diverse audience until its very end. In addition to academics and researchers, the audience included Egyptian government officials, representatives from Middle Eastern and European Embassies, EU diplomats, UN officials, representatives of civil society organizations, members of refugee communities in Cairo and interested public at large.
The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies will produce a report on the conference in a few weeks. A special issue of a journal or a book bringing together research undertaken by panelists on the subjects of their interventions at the conference will also be published later