Aligned with Concordia’s Human Rights & Civil Liberties Programming Pipeline, this partnership is supported by the H&M Foundation and seeks to support the work and initiatives of UNHCR. It will highlight the various roles the private sector can play in giving back to each refugee the life he/she had before fleeing war and persecution, resulting in a series of concrete action steps with a transformative impact for sustainable development. In addition, the partnership will explore the unparalleled, multifaceted benefits of education to refugees, examining various displacement and resettlement contexts. Finally, the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit will provide a global platform for the #WithRefugees Campaign—a UNHCR campaign designed to encourage governments into action—to elevate the voices and cause of refugee protection.
This is not the first time Concordia and UNHCR have partnered together. At the 2016 Concordia Annual Summit, Concordia collaborated with UNHCR, Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative, the International Organization for Migration, Open Society Foundations, and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to host a series of high-level interactive discussions on the private sector’s role and responsibility in addressing global migration challenges and the current refugee crisis. A curated gathering of 200 cross-sector leaders joined this forum, which culminated in a plenary session issuing a call to action to all 1,500 Concordia Summit attendees on the need to combine efforts and partner across sectors to provide tangible solutions for forced migration.
These critical, action-oriented conversations are shaping the direction of Concordia’s focus with UNHCR throughout 2018, and will inform the engagement at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit. Through this partnership, Concordia seeks to continue these initiatives by looking to the expertise and leadership of both UNHCR and the H&M Foundation to create innovative, action-oriented programming that effectively engages the networks of all three organizations. This partnership will strive to capture, incubate, and accelerate the connections and potential partnerships that are created within its programming.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.
About the H&M Foundation
The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Its mission is to drive long lasting, positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. The H&M Foundation is privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M group.
“The mission of UNHCR is truly one of the core values of Concordia’s work. The commitment to ensuring that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home is a subject we’ve heavily focused on in the past, and we look forward to continuing these calls to action at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit. Another year of partnership with UNHCR will surely help us in advancing these critical conversations,” Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman, & CEO of Concordia
“I’m so proud and so thrilled to partner with UNHCR for another year. Concordia shares UNHCR’s commitment to ensuring that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge. I sincerely believe this partnership will help us advance these critical conversations and find solutions for the refugee crisis at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit,” Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman, & CEO of Concordia
“Perhaps more than ever, UNHCR’s work today is driven by the need for innovation and partnerships with organizations like Concordia. With over 68 million people worldwide forced to flee their homes, we need to find comprehensive and long-lasting solutions. Solutions that protect victims of war and violence, help refugees rebuild their lives through education and employment, and bring hope for prosperity for refugees and their hosting communities alike,” Shirin Pakfar, Chief of Section, Private Partnerships & Philanthropy at UNHCR
“We support innovative solutions that have real impact and drive positive change. We also believe cross-sector collaboration is crucial and look forward to drawing on insights and know-how at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit. To contribute to improving the integration and education of refugees is urgent, otherwise we will have an entire generation at risk. This is about including everyone, something that is needed now more than ever,” Diana Amini, Global Manager at H&M Foundation