Advocacy at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Every year over 300 representatives from around the world attend UNHCR's Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva, and UNHCR's Executive Committee (ExCom) or Standing Committee meetings. The Annual Consultations is a major international meeting for community-based refugee organisations, UNHCR's operational partners, human rights and humanitarian agencies and other NGOs. It provides a forum to network, gather and share information, hear about new policies and best practice, discuss protection gaps and identify joint solutions.
Participation in these meetings also provides opportunities for high-level advocacy through Side Meetings with UNHCR, State delegates, and other key players. Through participation at UNHCR, CRR has been able to present research findings at the highest levels and gain recognition and support for our work with Women at Risk.
CRR attends the meetings as a member of ARRA. The CRR team includes self-funding Centre interns. CRR interns assist with: planning; background research and preparation of papers into agreed areas of concern; and documentation of the meetings, which forms the basis of the annual ARRA reports. Video of CRR interns at UNHCR meetings in Geneva. CRR and other ARRA members also facilitate attendance of refugee delegates to the meetings and support these delegates while in Geneva.
An NGO guide to the Annual Consultations, (PDF) (2 Mb) commissioned by UNHCR, was co-authored by Centre Director Eileen Pittaway. The guide provides information to assist NGOs to participate in the Consultations and, in so doing, strengthen the partnership between NGOs and UNHCR in providing protection and assistance to persons of concern.