UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will organize the first ever UNHCR Africa Consultations with NGOs and Multi-stakeholders under the theme “Whole of Society Approach – Working better together” in Johannesburg on 10-11 September. UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner (Operations) Mr. George Okoth-Obbo will be attending the event from UNHCR Headquarters. The consultations envisage to represent voices across races, ethnicities, gender and age to more holistically address challenges, issues as well as benefits of displacement.
During the Consultations, Dr. Esther Mahlangu will receive the first UNHCR Southern Africa NGO and Multi-Stakeholder Award in recognition of inclusivity and empowerment. The UNHCR Southern Africa award recognizes leaders or organizations for their exceptional championship of inclusion, equality and support for the assistance and empowerment of local populations. The award will be presented by H.E. Mr. Norio Maruyama, the Ambassador of Japan to South Africa. Furthermore, the triple Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir will sing during the consultations and Locnville, a MTV award-winning South African electro hop music duo will perform during the evening reception.
The UNHCR Africa Consultations with NGOs and Multi-stakeholders will seek opportunities for major progress in bringing in solutions to refugee situations. As the size and number of humanitarian emergencies across the world continues to grow, testing our capacity and ability to respond effectively, we see the need for innovative strategic and diversified partnerships, especially with the private sector. In this context, the Consultations will be bringing together NGOs, refugees, academia and the private sector in the same room. “If we are to truly achieve a sustainable and holistic solution to refugee situations, we need the whole of society: NGOs, civil society, donors, governments, the private sector and refugees themselves – to become important partners of UNHCR in responding to forced displacement” says Mr. Valentin Tapsoba, UNHCR Regional Director for the Southern Africa region. “We are never as effective as when we work together in bringing in compassion, resources and expertise to respond to humanitarian situations”.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).