Join Cities Alliance at the Global Refugee Forum 2023 for a Mayors' dialogue exploring strategies to boost multilevel cooperation for the effective inclusion of refugees in urban areas.


The role of cities in the refugee response is critical. First, as hosts, most refugees and displaced people end up in cities rather than camps. This is good, especially when they can access education, health, and employment services. Many cities worldwide are rising to this challenge and welcoming and supporting refugees who need protection and inclusion until more lasting solutions to their displacement are found.

Cities are ready to lead by taking direct action for refugee inclusion, but they cannot do it alone. They need support to cope with the pressures on classrooms, healthcare, waste and water systems when there is a sudden influx of people. This is why the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) goals are so key – they provide the framework necessary to share the responsibility for refugees more equitably. In practice, cities hosting refugees can get support by sharing resources, expertise and solidarity.

The objectives of this high-level event are to:
1. Provide the opportunity for Local and Regional Governments (LRG) to share pledges on their GCR implementation.
2. Identify avenues to overcome roadblocks to refugee inclusion locally, such as local localisation of finance and multi-level policy coordination.
3. Encourage stronger partnerships between LRGs, Member States, UN Agencies, and financial institutions for more effective refugee protection.

This session will serve as a Mayor's dialogue between initiatives that enable cities around the world, despite their limited resources and sometimes mandates in this area, to work to ensure that the division of responsibilities between levels of government and stakeholders is equitable, fair and effective. The session will discuss ways to increase and enhance multilevel cooperation for implementing the GCR at the local level.



  • Safak Pavey, Master of Ceremony
  • Farhad Ataee, Incubator Manager at SINGA Paris
  • Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner, UNHCR


  • Panel 1: Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director, Mayors Migration Council
  • Panel 2: Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments


  • Mayor Yousef Al Shawarbeh, Amman, Jordan
  • Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio, US
  • Marina del Pilar Avila Olmeda, Governor of the State of Baja California, Mexico
  • Edward Infante López, Mayor of Carmen de la Legua, Peru
  • Alcina Cerdeira, Councilwoman of Fundão, Portugal
  • Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, UK
  • Sanya Wilson, Mayor of Koboko, Uganda
  • Filippo Mannino, Mayor of Lampedusa, Italy
  • Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Hildebrand Niyomwungeri, Mayor of Nyamagabe, Rwanda
  • Representative of the European Development Bank


  • Patricia Barandun, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation- Head of Section, Migration and Forced Displacement
  • Sami Kanaan, Executive Councillor, City of Geneva, Switzerland

The event will take place at Geneva, Palexpo, Room V.

Watch the livestream.

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Learn more about our work on Migration and Forced Displacement in Urban Settings

Event Info
Event Date
Event Location
Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
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