There are 65 million refugees and displaced persons in the world, with numbers increasing each year. The crisis has brought out the worst in many countries, with several states restricting or blocking entry to those most in need of protection and other countries shouldering a disproportionate share of responsibility. The current refugee system is unpredictable, piecemeal and unsustainable. Unaddressed, it will impact the world for generations to come. Yet, with greater international cooperation, this challenge would be manageable — the world’s refugees account for less than 0.3 percent of the global population. As a result, the UN Secretary-General has called for the creation of a Global Compact on predictable and equitable responsibility sharing to respond to large-scale refugee movements.

To address this challenge, the Global Security & Politics Program at CIGI has launched the Global Leadership and Cooperation for Refugees project to develop and advance ideas for a new system of international cooperation that is capable of anticipating mass movements of people and managing them in a way that is politically viable, fair for all states and properly funded, as well as to consider ways in which Canada can provide international leadership on this crucial issue.