Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Professors Play Key Roles in World Refugee Council

Professor James Milner with a Burundian family who lived as refugees in Tanzania for 27 years.

Two Faculty of Public Affairs professors are playing key roles in the newly established World Refugee Council, which was launched by the nonpartisan think tank, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Fen Osler Hampson, Chancellor’s Professor in the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), and director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics program, will coordinate the international initiative.

James Milner, an Associate Professor of Political Science and expert on migration and diaspora studies, will serve as the council’s research director.

It will be chaired by former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, and “will offer advice on broad-reaching reform and innovation to reinvigorate the global refugee system.” The council is an outgrowth of the so-called New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016.

Children at a camp in Makamba, Burundi. (Photo by James Milner)

“Canada is committed to being a strong voice to help the most vulnerable worldwide,” said the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Our support for the World Refugee Council will promote shared responsibility and greater international solidarity to address the essential needs of refugees.”

Much of the council’s focus will be on research and recommendations: on structural reform, managing refugee movements, innovating financing models, and strengthening the legal regime.

“We have reached a tipping point within the global refugee crisis where new models of collaboration are desperately needed,” said Professor Hampson. “Our goal is to work with civil society, international organizations, the private sector and governments to improve outcomes for refugees and states alike.”

Professor Milner hosted a discussion panel on migration and refugee issues at the Visions for Canada 2042 conference in March. At that time, he said, “Canada has proven itself to be a moral authority, and an expert, in the global refugee regime.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in ,
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