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New Council to seek solutions for global refugee crisis


Today, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), with support from the Government of Canada, launched the World Refugee Council (WRC), an independent group of global leaders and innovators aimed at advancing new solutions to the global refugee crisis.

We are pleased to announce that the RSC Director, Alexander Betts, has been appointed to serve as a Councillor on this new international Council.

Chaired by former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, the Council will offer advice on broad-reaching reform and innovation to reinvigorate the global refugee system. The Council will develop a transformative agenda to help ensure that international cooperation for refugees is predictable, equitable and just.

The work of the Council will build on the New York Declaration, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, and the process to negotiate a Global Compact on refugees, led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It will provide much-needed research and recommendations on structural reform, including how best to manage refugee movements; deploy emerging technologies for improved protection and solutions for refugees; promote innovative financing models; and identify opportunities for strengthening the international legal regime on refugees.

The Council co-chairs are Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania; Hina Jilani, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; and Rita Süssmuth, immigration reform advocate and former President of the German Bundestag. The Council is composed of a diverse group of councillors – thought leaders, stateswomen and statesmen who will conduct the work of the Council and seek to forge consensus among countries of the Global South and North.

As well as Alexander Betts, the Councillors include Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation and RSC Advisor. James Milner, Associate Professor at Carleton University and RSC Research Associate, is the Council’s Research Director.

CIGI (a Canadian think tank on global governance) will coordinate the work of the Council, which will be directed by Fen Osler Hampson, a distinguished fellow and director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics program, and distinguished fellow and former Canadian ambassador to the UN Paul Heinbecker, who is the Council’s Deputy Chair.

The Council will be assisted by a civil society advisory group and supported by a robust research agenda.

Find out more here >>