In the last year the world was impacted by numerous crises, including wars, natural disasters and climate hazards. This has led to unprecedented, forced movements of people across the region, placing a tremendous burden on host governments, and specifically on sending and receiving communities. Migrants, forcibly displaced or otherwise often choose to live in urban centers due to better economic prospects, more opportunities for self-reliance, and, better safety. The importance of recognizing local authorities as policymakers, including for access to services, economic integration, and social cohesion, is also increasingly acknowledged. These commitments reconfirm that cities continue to be at the forefront of the decision-making in integrating the needs of people on the move and reap the socio-economic benefits which these persons bring. If properly equipped and capacitated, municipalities can become key actors and visionary leaders in addressing forced displacement issues. Results from this movement are in the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on cities and urban development in the 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goal 11, "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable". Municipalities have a wealth of valuable experience in the "localization" of the 2030 Agenda, where they provide leadership in the mobilization of a wide range of stakeholders, the facilitation of "bottom-up" and inclusive processes, and the formation of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Hence, this side event will showcase the challenges, efforts, and successes of municipalities, as front-line actors for the inclusion of forcibly displaced people, while building on sustainable structures and mechanisms to leave no-one behind.
UNHCR - Effective Inclusion of Refugees: participatory approaches for practitioners at the local level