NEW YORK, MARCH 7 – The Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations hosted an informal meeting of the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, with the 15 members of the Security Council. The Italian-born UN refugee chief recapped about his latest missions in Syria and Lebanon in early February, and focused on his priorities for 2017. “This is an opportunity to say how much I appreciate your commitment in peace and security”, said the High Commissioner, appointed in November 2015 by former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Filippo Grandi leads the UN Refugees Agency in a context of unprecedented humanitarian crises involving 65 million displaced persons and 21 million refugees worldwide. Among Grandi’s top concerns are the progress of the Global Compact on Refugees, and possible synergies between the work of the UNHCR and the Security Council.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi chaired the meeting, recalling that for 2016-2017, the strategic priorities of UNHCR include the protection of women and children, the eradication of statelessness, and the integration of refugees and host communities in a long-term perspective. Cardi emphasized the theme of minors, who represent almost half of all refugees in the world. Most of them are unaccompanied, and they are particularly vulnerable to every form of abuse and exploitation. “The UN Refugees Agency focus on children well-pointed as they are vulnerable to abuse”, said Cardi. (@melonimatteo)