Faces and Voices for Refugees | 20 December 2023

The Geneva State Council takes part in the Inside Out project for refugees "Hope Away From Home"

The largest international gathering on refugees, co-organized by the Swiss government and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), took place from 13 to 15 December at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva.

Guided by the founding words "Action - Solidarity - Results," the Global Refugee Forum brought together over 4,200 participants from 168 countries and attracted 10,000 people to follow the debates online. This edition received over 1,600 pledges made to support refugees and their host communities, including 43 multi-stakeholder commitments led by governments. 

In this spirit of solidarity, the State Council of Geneva accepted Switzerland for UNHCR Foundations' invitation to take part in the Inside Out public event created by artist JR. On December 13, at the Rampe de la Treille, each member of the State Council had their portrait taken and recorded a brief message in support of the refugee cause. Their faces were pasted with those of nearly 300 people from near and far and can be seen on the dedicated "Hope away from Home" page.

Message from Mrs. Nathalie Fontanet, State Councilor in charge of the Department of Finance, Human Resources and External Affairs: 

"As a State Councilor and citizen of Geneva, I am truly proud that the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has its headquarters in Geneva. It was in our canton in 1951 that the Convention relating to the status of refugees was adopted. This international document is a credit to Geneva's humanitarian tradition. It helps protect the fundamental rights and dignity of millions of people who are forced to flee their countries."

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