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In Search of a Global Refugee Strategy

When leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean gather in Brazil this month to discuss solutions to the global refugee crisis, the rest of the world should pay attention. With a legacy of opening doors to the displaced, and aiding in their resettlement, the region's approach should inspire a more unified and humane global strategy.

BRASÍLIA – Next week, leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean will meet in Brazil to discuss solutions to the global refugee crisis. Observer countries, international organizations, and representatives of civil society will also take part in the dialogue, which will be co-hosted by the Brazilian government and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The aim of the two-day gathering is to strategize new ways to assist the millions of displaced people in the region and around the world. Our conclusions will help form the regional contribution to a new “global compact on refugees,” which will be presented to the UN General Assembly later this year.

Addressing the plight of refugees is one of the greatest challenges currently facing the international community. With some 65.6 million people forcibly uprooted by violence, natural disasters, and economic hardship, there are more displaced people today than immediately after World War II. But, because no country is immune to the consequences associated with large movements of refugees, only a coordinated response can ameliorate the suffering. Rather than closing borders, as some governments have done, the international community must work together to address the issue of global displacement.