Source: ICGLR & UNHCR
Held in Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda
22. Acknowledged that many cases of protracted refugees, as defined by UNHCR, may never be able to return to their countries of origin or be resettled. Further noted that many refugees were born in host countries. Recognized that for these cases local integration is a viable alternative, when coupled with financial support and investment. Commended the concrete steps taken by Member States in the Great Lakes region to enable local integration and encouraged other Member States to consider and pursue similar efforts.
23. Emphasized that successful local integration requires legal stay arrangements, freedom of movement of refugees on the national territory in conformity with the law of the host country, and inclusion of refugees in national services and systems such as education, health care, social welfare and protection services, community policing, and land management.
24. Recognizing that socio-economic inclusion of refugees does not presume but can contribute to local integration as a durable solution, recommended the development and financing, with the support of partners, of local socio-economic inclusion plans benefiting both refugee and host communities in fulfilment of the SDGs and the AU 2063 Agenda. Highlighted that socio-economic inclusion needs to go hand in hand with efforts to promote peaceful co-existence targeting both communities, and with action aimed at preventing and addressing environmental degradation in refugee-hosting areas.
25. Acknowledged the growing number of urban refugees and underlined that special attention and greater investments, including through private sector involvement, are required for local integration strategies in those areas. Also acknowledged the challenge of local integration in remote rural areas, which requires specific measures.
26. Encouraged Member States who are willing and able to do so, to facilitate, with the support of partners, the naturalisation of refugees as a durable solution. In this regard, commended the action by Tanzania to naturalise Burundian refugees, and recognised similar efforts by other countries in the Great Lakes region. Called upon the international developments partners to extend their support to enable a sustainable local integration.
27. Acknowledged that access to legal identity documentation, particularly birth registration, is critical to prevent and reduce statelessness, in line with the ICGLR Brazzaville Declaration on the Eradication of Statelessness.
Other documents from the meeting are available here: https://ungreatlakes.unmissions.org/refugees-meeting.