On Tuesday 12 December, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh was invited to present insights from her research at the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges.
As one of four panelists discussing ‘Reception and Admission’, she spoke alongside H.E. Ambassador Mr. Boudjemâa Delm (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations), H.E. Ambassador Antje Leendertse (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations), and Mr. Jan Egeland (Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
The UNHCR High Commissioner’s dialogue – which took place on 12-13 December at the Palais des Nations, Geneva – aimed to help the UN refugees’ agency move forward in drafting the new Global Compact on Refugees which will be presented in 2018.
Elena’s presentation focused on the importance of sensitivity to gender, religion and refugee-host relations in Reception and Admission processes, addressing some of the greatest challenges faced by the international community: the need to reconcile ‘immediately’ responding to ‘mass’ emergency experiences and needs, with attention to individual needs and rights in contexts of displacement. She drew on the research (funded by the Henry Luce Foundation) underpinning her MRU Policy Brief on Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees, in addition to her long-standing research with and about refugees and host communities in the Middle East (including the Refugee Hosts research project funded by the UK’s Research Councils, and her broader research funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and the European Research Council).