60 Years

On 14 December, UNHCR celebrated its 60th birthday, kicking off a year of key anniversaries. In 2011, the refugee agency marks the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (July 28) and the 50th anniversary of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (August 30). We also plan a special celebration on October 10 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the late Norwegian polar explorer, diplomat and politician Fridtjof Nansen, who was the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The highlight of this year of commemorations will be a ministerial-level meeting of all Member States of the United Nations in Geneva on December 7-8. This important gathering will also give states the opportunity to formalize their accession to the relevant conventions. States and other actors will also be able to make concrete pledges of commitment to address specific forced displacement and/or statelessness issues, as well as broader, forward-looking recommendations.

In Ireland we are marking these anniversaries through a variety of activities. We will continue to update this page with details of activities throughout the year.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees, the UNHCR Office in Ireland is launching a campaign on 10th October 2011 to encourage individuals to do 1 thing to show their support for refugees, asylum seekers and those in need of international protection here in Ireland and around the world. For more information about the campaign, click here.

To mark World Refugee Day 2011 UNHCR held the second annual Fair Play Football Cup in partnership with Sport Against Racism Ireland on 18 June in the Law Society Gardens, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7. For more information click here.

We began our commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees with an exhibition entitled 60 years – Stories of Survival and Safe Haven, which we launched on 20th June in The chq building, IFSC, Dublin 1. For more information about the exhibition, please click here.

High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges

The fourth Dialogue took place in December 2010 and focused on protection gaps.

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Ministerial-Level Meeting

This gathering, highlight of the year of anniversaries, will be held December 7-8 in Geneva.

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State Pledges

Guidance notes encouraging states to make specific, action-oriented, forward-looking and measurable pledges.

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Getting NGOs Involved

The role that non-governmental organizations can play in the commemorations process. Available in English, French and Spanish.

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Expert Meetings

Expert meetings are being organized over the year on a wide range of relevant topics.

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Dialogues with Women

UNHCR is staging a series of dialogues with forcibly displaced women and girls.

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