The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) proposes that, in appropriate circumstances, UNHCR would be able to ‘activate’ a Support Platform. The Support Platform is a flexible modality for the provision of situation-specific support from the international community. As set out in the GCR, a Support Platform is led by a group of States that are committed to providing support, and it can benefit from the engagement of other stakeholders as appropriate (including regional and subregional mechanisms and groupings, international organizations, international financial institutions, civil society, and the private sector). The functions of a Support Platform include:
- galvanizing political commitment and advocacy for prevention, protection, response, and solutions;
- mobilizing financial, material, and technical assistance, as well as resettlement and complementary pathways for admission to third countries;
- facilitating coherent humanitarian and development responses, including through the early and sustained engagement of development actors; and
- supporting comprehensive policy initiatives to ease pressure on host countries, build resilience and& self-reliance, and find solutions.
The Global Refugee Forum marked the launch of three Support Platforms to reinforce regional refugee responses, including for the MIRPS in Central America and Mexico, the Nairobi Process facilitated by IGAD in the East and Horn of Africa, and the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).
Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (“MIRPS” in its Spanish acronym)
The MIRPS Support Platform is a mechanism to support responsibility sharing for forced displacement in Central America and Mexico. It was set up to support the efforts of the seven MIRPS countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama) to offer protection, seek solutions, and mobilize support from current and new actors engaged in these efforts.
The Platform has three specific goals: to give visibility to the Central America crisis; mobilize technical, financial, and material support for MIRPS countries; and promote the exchange of good practices and lessons learned.
Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR)
Afghan displacement is entering its fifth decade, and the Afghan refugee situation remains the second in the world under UNHCR’s mandate. Nearly 6 million Afghans with different documented and undocumented status, or nearly 15 per cent of Afghanistan’s total population have been generously hosted by just two countries – the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan – for decades.
Since the launch of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) in 2012, the three governments and UNHCR have progressively pursued it as an unprecedented regional approach to create an environment conducive to voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration inside Afghanistan, while also easing pressure on the host communities. Over the last 18 years, more than 5 million Afghan refugees have been able to return home with UNHCR’s support.
The international community’s affirmation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) was driven by the imperative to find solutions for the benefit of refugees and host communities alike by translating the long-standing principles of international cooperation and burden and responsibility sharing into practice. With the GCR’s vision of support platforms as a key means to support these goals, the three Governments launched the SSAR Support Platform in the context of the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
The IGAD Support Platform is the result of close collaboration between the IGAD Secretariat, the European Union, the World Bank, Germany, and UNHCR. It was launched at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 by Ministers from the IGAD region, the IGAD Secretariat, and the High Commissioner for Refugees. The IGAD Support Platform is a mechanism to sustain the momentum and galvanize additional support for the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action, as well as subsequent Declarations and Plans of Action (all referred to as “the IGAD Process”).
The IGAD Support Platform contains four pillars to channel efforts and amplify impact, namely:
- Return and reintegration
- Economic inclusion of refugees