UNHCR launches campaign and events for World Refugee Day

Virtual initiatives next week, focus on solidarity

11 June, 17:00

    ROME - The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR on Thursday launched a campaign for World Refugee Day titled #WithRefugees, and is promoting a series of cultural events and debates next week in which refugees' stories will bring a message of solidarity and inclusion, reminding us that we can all make a difference in creating a safer and more supportive world.
    World Refugee Day on June 20 is an annual date to raise public awareness on the condition of more than 70 million refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people worldwide, and this year it falls during a critical time for humanity, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged conflicts around the world that are worsening the current humanitarian crisis.
    "Sometimes a crisis such as Covid-19 is needed to remind us that we need to be united," said Chiara Cardoletti, the new UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino.
    "In a time in which the world is experiencing a period of great vulnerability, our strength is solidarity. No one is safe if we aren't all safe. Each of us can make a difference and contribute to finding solutions for moving forward," she said.
    This year for the first time ever, the programme will take place completely online with many events on the main social media platforms.
    The initiatives will start June 18 with a live stream presentation of the annual statistical report Global Trends 2019, at 10:30 a.m. on the UNHCR Italia YouTube channel.
    Participants in the presentation will include UNHCR representative Chiara Cardoletti; spokesperson Carlotta Sami; Syrian refugee representative of the Camini pro loco in Reggio Calabria, Douaa Alkoka; and founder of the association Mosaico - Actions for Refugees in Turin, Berthin Nzonza.
    Also on June 18, UNHCR will present the initiative organised by Mosaico - Actions for Refugees in collaboration with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) titled "Beyond Covid-19".
    At 6 p.m., a live stream debate will take place on the topic "Institutions and Refugees for the Protection of the Most Vulnerable Groups in the Population: What Actions Underway? What Future Prospects?" Also this year UNHCR Italia is counting on its Goodwill Ambassador Alessandro Gassmann and celebrity spokespeople to support the campaign #WithRefugees, including including Lorena Bianchetti, Giuseppe Catozzella, Carolina Crescentini, Nicole Grimaudo, Lino Guanciale, Greta Scarano and the singer Giorgia.
    On June 19 at 2 p.m., Gassmann will participate in a Facebook Live stream in which he will talk about the mission he undertook with UNHCR in Jordan and Lebanon and on the topic of global solidarity.
    On June 20 at 11 a.m., UNHCR will join with the Italian Union of Sport for All (UISP) to discuss on their Facebook pages the fundamental role that sport plays in refugee integration, with Chiara Cardoletti; Carlotta Sami; UNHCR representative in Niger, Alessandra Morelli; and Italian Sport Minister Vincenzo Spadafora.
    Also on June 20 at 11 a.m., UNHCR will participate in a Facebook Live stream organised by the Italian National Union for Refugees and Exiles (UNIRE), the first national association for refugees in Italy, titled "Pandemic, and that's not all: the eternal emergency in which refugees live", at 11 a.m. on the Facebook page of UNIRE.
    Just like every year, cities across Italy will join the campaign, lighting one of their symbolic monuments in blue in an expression of solidarity with refugees.
    Cities that have joined the initiative include Bari, Bologna, Florence, and Naples.
    With the presentation of World Refugee Day, UNHCR is also launching a new TV spot with the voice of Alessandro Gassmann, which will air on the main networks and various local networks and is available at the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUHQ1b6F7Ms.
    For the first year, UNHCR is in a media partnership with the ANSA news agency, as well as in an established collaboration with public broadcaster RAI.
    Information on the initiatives is available at the website https://withrefugees.unhcr.it/. 

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