Faith-based actors have long played a role in front-line responses to humanitarian crises and refugee emergencies. This seminar presentation will describe recent developments in the UN’s efforts to strengthen operational and other cooperation with faith-based actors. It will examine the strengths that faith-based actors bring to work in the humanitarian and development fields, as well as the challenges that have emerged in this cooperation.
Reception to follow
José Riera-Cézanne served with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for more than 31 years, working in areas such as international protection/refugee law, policy development and evaluation, major UNHCR publications, external relations, and multilateral consultations and negotiations relating to refugees. His most recent assignment was Senior Policy Adviser to Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk, the third-ranking UNHCR official. In this capacity, he organized an annual “Dialogue on Protection Challenges” for then-UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, which drew attention to emerging legal and policy issues relating to refugees, internally displaced persons and stateless people, and contributed to fostering appropriate responses. For a number of years, he also served as policy lead for a range of thematic portfolios including international migration; climate change and its ramifications for migration, displacement, and planned relocation; and UNHCR’s cooperation with faith-based actors. After retiring from the United Nations in 2016, Riera-Cézanne is an international consultant based in San José, Costa Rica.
Organized by Migration and the Spaces of Sanctuary, a collaboration studio grant of the Simpson Center for the Humanities.