As prepared

Thank you, Julieta, for that gracious introduction.  Esteemed friends and colleagues, it is my honor to be here with you today leading the U.S. delegation to the second Global Refugee Forum.  

When consultations toward the Global Compact on Refugees began in 2016, forcibly displaced people around the world numbered 65.6 million.  But each passing year sets yet another  somber record for the number of refugees and displaced persons.  In fact, today we are faced with 110 million people compelled to flee their homes due to the harrowing realities of violence, armed conflict, climate disruption, poverty, and persecution.  And today, we gather together with a shared purpose – to address this unprecedented challenge.

As a global community, we must find innovative, effective solutions and implement them fast.  I’m proud to see the United States at the forefront of this effort, partnering with the private sector, NGOs, students, and everyday citizens to tackle this unprecedented displacement.

For example, teaming up with the Tent Foundation, a coalition of companies committed to giving refugees a fair shot, we’re not just creating jobs; we’re creating opportunities for those who need them most.  From Europe to Latin America to East Africa, the United States and the Tent Foundation are rallying private sector companies to open their doors to refugees, tearing down barriers that stand in their way. 

Since we launched the Resettlement Diplomacy Network, comprising seven nations plus the EU, in 2022, the United States is leading high-level engagement among resettlement states. With a bold annual goal of resettling 125,000 refugees by 2024, the United States is walking the walk on building a more inclusive and compassionate future. Over the next year, we will work hand in hand with communities across the United States to hit our resettlement target and make our country stronger and richer with the contributions of those who have faced adversity head-on.

Now, let’s talk about the Welcome Corps, a new U.S. initiative that gives everyday Americans a direct line to participate in the refugee resettlement process.  This initiative is a lifeline, powered by the goodwill of communities, schools, and businesses across America. 

In collaboration with the President’s Alliance for Higher Education and Migration, we’re ensuring refugee students have the support they need to achieve their higher education goals in the United States.

And when it comes to finance, we’re aiming high.  During the recent UN General Assembly High-Level Week, I joined the World Economic Forum in calling on everyone from donors to corporations to join forces and mobilize $10 billion in investment capital for fragile frontier markets by 2030.  This partnership will empower up to 1,000 businesses to make a difference in countries or regions hosting refugees. 

As climate change brings a new set of challenges, we are gearing up. By combining humanitarian and development financing alongside other innovations, we’re building resiliency among refugees, migrants, and their host communities.

In closing, I invite us all to forge ahead in shaping a future defined by compassion, resilience, and partnership.  Our ability to transform the future of humanitarian response lies not merely in the work we do, but in the profound impact we create when individuals in this room and around the world come together.  

Your commitment, your ideas, and your collaboration are the catalysts for a future where solutions are achieved. Thank you all for your roles as prime movers behind this transformative effort.  Now, I will turn it over to our distinguished speakers, to learn more about how their innovations are driving solutions and positive change. 

Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future