Joint press release: International community shows solidarity with efforts to enhance protection and find solutions for people forced to flee and host communities in Central America and Mexico
ACNUR, 21 Sep 2022
NEW YORK – The international community today reaffirmed its solidarity with forcibly displaced populations and host communities in Central America and Mexico during a Solidarity Event on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The event was co-hosted by the Governments of Canada and the United States, in partnership with the Government of Honduras. It included the participation of the seven countries that make up the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS), and MIRPS Support Platform Members, as well as other international agencies and financial institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
Consistent with commitments under the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, participants discussed ways to enhance protection and to promote lasting and complementary solutions for displaced people and those at risk of being displaced.
Gabriela Pérez Guerra, a Nicaraguan refugee in Mexico, told participants via video link how important the support refugees receive is for successful integration into their host communities. “Listening to the challenges faced by those who need international protection leads us to understand that… the process of integration includes the active and creative search for solutions,” she said. Pérez Guerra now leads a programme that promotes education as a tool for successful integration at Programa Casa Refugiados, a refugee-led organization in Mexico City.
Members of the MIRPS Support Platform — which helps mobilise resources for MIRPS countries – made new commitments of political, technical, and financial support which totalled more than USD 210 million, in addition to in-kind contributions to further strengthen the regional response and country National Action Plans in 2022 and 2023. In addition, the World Bank announced its intention to join the Support Platform.
“Against the backdrop of compounding global crises, we cannot lose sight of the more than 1 million people forcibly displaced in Central America and Mexico. While Canada’s term as Chair of the MIRPS Support Platform comes to an end, we will continue to advocate for the needs of refugees and forcibly displaced persons in the region and pledge our support to the MIRPS countries and the host communities who generously support them,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development of Canada.
The International Solidarity Event marked the culmination of Canada’s tenure as Chair of the MIRPS Support Platform and the transition to the United States as the incoming chair.
Uzra Zeya, the United States’ Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, said: “Collaboration is imperative to meeting our shared goals, and forums such as the MIRPS and the event today are critical as they provide the opportunity for us to tangibly express our support and seek solutions together… Today, as an expression of the United States commitment to addressing forced displacement, I am pleased that the United States will take over the Chair of the MIRPS Support Platform.”
Carlos Antonio García, Under Secretary of State for Consular and Migratory Affairs of Honduras, underscored the progress made by MIRPS countries in strengthening asylum systems and protection mechanisms. “These results encourage us to look toward the future with optimism. It gives us hope to know that through the joint commitment of our region and international solidarity, we can multiply these achievements,” he said.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who has closely followed the MIRPS since its inception in 2017, applauded the progress made by MIRPS States but underscored that much remains to be achieved. “We must recognise that the situation for millions of people remains grave. They – and the countries of the region – cannot be left alone to address the challenges… Humanitarian and development actors must therefore work together to enhance protection and integration,” he said.
“It is crucial that multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector continue to join forces with the member states of the MIRPS that still require additional investments to strengthen access to health, education, social protection, employment, and livelihoods for displaced populations or at risk of displacement”, said Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Director of the Department of Social Inclusion of the Organization of American States (OAS).
About the MIRPS:
The Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS) includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama. The MIRPS is a pioneering mechanism for the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees to encourage regional cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination for greater responsibility sharing in matters of prevention, protection, and durable solutions in the face of growing forced displacement in Central America and Mexico. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Organization of American States (OAS) provide support as the MIRPS Technical Secretariat.
About the MIRPS Support Platform:
The MIRPS Support Platform was launched in December 2019 to support the efforts of the MIRPS countries. It aims to leverage support from the broadest possible range of stakeholders. Its current members include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the European Union (EU), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), France, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, the United States, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Organization of American States (OAS), while UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency serves as the Secretariat.
For more information contact:
In Panama: William Spindler, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Mexico: Sibylla Brodzinsky, email@example.com
In Ottawa: Melanie Gallant, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington: Kevin Keen, email@example.com