Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Senior Bureau Official (SBO) Nancy Izzo Jackson represented the United States as Head of Delegation at the virtual UNHCR High-Level Officials Meeting (HLOM) on December 14-15 chaired by UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi. The thirteen-person U.S. delegation had the honor of including a former refugee from Sierra Leone who is now a U.S. citizen, along with representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The HLOM provided an opportunity for senior government officials and other stakeholders to evaluate and discuss progress and maintain momentum towards achieving the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). Participants identified achievements, challenges, and new areas for further engagement to increase responsibility-sharing, support self-reliance, and expand access to solutions for refugees, including, but not limited to, complementary pathways to resettle refugees, new innovative partnerships, and meaningful refugee participation and inclusion in responses.
The United States is the world’s largest humanitarian donor and the largest single humanitarian donor to UNHCR. The United States announced ten new pledges at the HLOM to enhance protection and durable solutions for refugees and other vulnerable populations around the world, including stateless persons residing in the United States. Other donors were encouraged to increase their support to UNHCR and accelerate momentum towards achieving the objectives of the GCR in advance of the next Global Refugee Forum in 2023. On December 7, the United States made its largest initial contribution of $200 million in response to UNHCR’s 2022 Global Appeal.
U.S. Pledges announced at the HLOM include:
- Pledge to enhance LGBTQI+ refugee protection capacity at UNHCR through support for staff training and capacity building as well as support to local NGOs to better protect displaced LGBTQI+ persons;
- Pledge to increase resettlement to the United States and complementary pathways;
- Pledge to establish new referraland sponsorship pathways for LGBTQI+ and other vulnerable refugee groups to come to the United States;
- Pledge to establish new public-private partnerships to support the resettlement of Afghans in the United States;
- Pledge to adopt a definition of statelessness for U.S. immigration purposes and to build a process for making statelessness determinations for such purposes, to the extent consistent with U.S. law, and examine ways to facilitate work and travel for the stateless;
- Matching Pledge for the United States to join the Global Refugee Led Network, International Organizations, governments, NGOs, and the private sector to ensure meaningful refugee participation in the implementation of humanitarian aid programming in line with existing Grand Bargain commitments related to participation;
- Matching Pledge to join the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative (RSRI) in its commitment to promoting opportunities for refugees to become self-reliant and achieve a better quality of life;
- Matching Pledge to continue working with Congress to be a strong supporter of financing mechanisms at multilateral development banks in support of refugees and host communities, namely the World Bank IDA Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR) and the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF);
- Matching Pledge committing the United States to support at least 10 existing pledges related to refugee inclusion and self-reliance over the next two years; and
- Matching Pledge for the United States’ intent to becoming the next Chair of the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework Platform (MIRPS).
For additional information on these pledges and PRM’s humanitarian assistance, please refer to the 2021 HLOM Fact Sheet.