On Thursday, September 22, during the 2016 United Nations General Assembly, Brookings convened a forum to look at the ways in which European cities are responsible for refugee integration in the short and long term. The forum opened with keynote remarks from U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, as well as the Honorable David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee. Speakers were followed by two panels with an emphasis on housing, education, labor, neighborhood services, and broader social integration issues. The first panel examined strategies and lessons learned by local actors to ensure that newly arrived refugees are safe, sheltered, fed, and treated for medical and psychosocial needs, while the second panel addressed workforce participation, skills training, education, housing solutions, and different approaches to social integration that benefit both refugees and host communities. The event closed with remarks from António Guterres, former UN High Commissioner on Refugees and a former prime minister of Portugal.
This event is part of a wider Brookings project titled “Cities and Refugees: The European Response.” Led by Bruce Katz, the inaugural centennial scholar at Brookings, the project seeks to show the extent to which cities are at the vanguard of this crisis and to deepen our understanding of the role and capacity of city governments and local networks in resettlement and long-term economic and social integration.
September 29, 2016
Robert L McKenzie
October 3, 2016