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For Immediate Release

September 15, 2016

AVSI-USA Communications and Outreach Manager, Roberta Alves

AVSI's voice at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants

Washington DC | AVSI’s staff is back in New York to participate in the UN high-level Summit for Refugees and Migrants. This is the first time that the UN General Assembly has called for a summit at the level of Heads of State and Government on large movements of refugees and migrants, a topic that has been largely addressed by AVSI Foundation, an international humanitarian NGO based in Milan.

AVSI is giving a significant contribution to the international debate: in July, Rana Najib, who manages AVSI’s educational projects in Lebanon, was invited by the UN to be a panelist in an interactive multi-stakeholder hearing, whose main goal was to provide an opportunity for Member States to exchange views and to inform the inter-governmental negotiation toward the finalization of an outcome document for the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.

Now, after months of meetings and hearings, the Summit for Refugees and Migrants will take place on September 19 with a fundamental goal: to come up with a blueprint for a better international response. It will be a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants. AVSI’s staff will be there to participate in the summit and share their experience.

As part of the General Assembly efforts to discuss the theme, the Italian Government is organizing a high-level side event that will take place on Wednesday, September 21. The event will discuss “Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants: Global Challenge, Regional Responses, Comprehensive Strategy” (UN Headquarters, Conference Room 3). AVSI’s Secretary General, Giampaolo Silvestri, was invited to participate as panelist (See Program Below). 

The following were also invited to participate in the event: the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni; Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Judeh; High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi; High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Emma Bonino.

Silvestri will have the opportunity to share AVSI’s experience: the NGO was founded in 1972 and currently has 130 projects in 30 countries thanks to the work of its 1,300 staff members. During more than 40 years, AVSI has worked with thousands of refugees and migrants in their own countries, but also while in transit and finally in the country that hosts them. Thanks to its various projects, which target refugees, their communities and the host countries, AVSI has a complete understanding of the phenomenon of large movements of refugees and migrant that we are currently experiencing.