Brussels, 5 March 2018
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, met today in Brussels with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and UN High Commissioner Grandi discussed the EU – UNHCR partnership in addressing protection issues in Libya, including joint work since the establishment of the African Union – European Union – United Nations Task Force. With support from the European Union, the UNHCR has to date been able to evacuate over 1,300 people from the country with the view to further resettlement since the end of November 2017. In this context they stressed the need to accelerate the resettlement out of Niger.
They also discussed the situation in Syria, including Eastern Ghouta. Federica Mogherini raised the second Brussels Conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region" that the European Union and the United Nations will co-chair on 24-25 April 2018. The event will be an opportunity to further mobilise the international community in support of the Syrian people and of the neighbouring countries affected by the conflict.
The High Representative/ Vice-President and the High Commissioner also discussed the Rohingya refugee crisis. They recalled the Rohingya refugees should be allowed voluntary, safe and dignified return to their places of origin and stressed that the UNHCR should be fully associated with the process. The High Representative/Vice-President also confirmed the EU's continued commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need and help find a long-term solution to the crisis.
The UNHCR leads the development of a Global Compact on Refugees, which the European Union fully supports. Federica Mogherini underlined the importance of responsibility sharing and respect for international human rights being at the core of the future Compact.
The European Union will continue its close partnership with the UNHCR and the wider UN system, in strengthening multilateralism and global governance and assisting those in need of international protection.