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the syrian refugee crisis : towards new global coordination

On October 27th 2015, Rachael Babecoff,  ICJW's representative UN Geneva,  attended a panel organized by the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva.
This panel was extremely interesting not only because of the topic, but also because of the panelists.

The UN High Commissioner for the Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, and William Swing, the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, were among the panelists and were also the Elders.

The Elders is a group of independent global leaders that were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. He used their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide.

They were represented by Kofi Annan (Chair of the Elders), Nobel Prize Laureate; Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair of the Elders), former prime Minister of Norway and Hila Jilani (Elder), advocate of the Supreme Court in Pakistan and former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders).

This debate explored how governance, structures and practices had to change in order to transform the refugee “problem” into a manageable process. How can governments and the general public be persuaded to respond generously to refugees and migrants and how can the root causes of the crisis be collectively addressed. Moreover, this debate particularly discussed how we could best support human rights for those forced to leave their home countries.

It was a lesson of wisdom, common sense and respect after everything we have been hearing and reading these last few months.

I was extremely moved by this mulitcultural panel of Elders whom addressed young students from all over the world, in an overcrowded Auditorium, speaking words of Elders, solidarity and responsibility.

We definitively need the Elders in this world and we should hear from them more often.