Global Refugee Forum 2023 side event

Youth Leadership in Action: The future we cannot afford to ignore

In the context of the Global Refugee Forum, the ILO is supporting the linked event on Youth Leadership in Action. The event is organized to support the Global Multi-Stakeholder Pledge to Support Work With, For & By Young People in Displacement and brings together multiple stakeholders for a dynamic dialogue on the crucial role of young refugees in global humanitarian and development processes.

Kindly register if you wish to attend in person, or follow the event live from the Graduate Institute in Geneva:

Speakers and panelists

  • H.E. Mr. Ib Petersen, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Denmark
  • Dr. Felipe Paullier, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs
  • Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, Incoming Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR
  • Feras Othman, Refugee Youth Delegate, Jordan
  • Tarek Hussein, CEO DFUNK, Danish Refugee Council
  • Bahati Mnyaci, CEO, Change Agents Advocacy
  • Eugene Kongnyuy, Deputy Director of the Humanitarian Response Division, UNFPA
  • Ibrahim Sallet, Global Refugee Youth Network
  • Cecilia Roselli, NRC Geneva Director,
  • Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist, ILO
  • Stephen Omollo, CEO Plan International


Young people, including young refugees, emerge as frontline responders in emergencies and protracted crises, addressing the needs of their families and communities, often even before humanitarian and development actors are mobilized, and refugee response systems are established.

Amidst pressing global concerns, this event places a spotlight on the meaningful engagement of refugee youth within the processes of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Refugee Forum. Recognizing the value of hearing directly from young people, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, Global Refugee Youth Network, Plan International, Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action, Women's Refugee Commission, ILO, UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNHCR are organising an event that will take the form of a dynamic dialogue on the crucial role of young refugees in global humanitarian and development processes. The event builds on the many initiatives and developments of various partners and taps into the growing momentum for the youth agenda within the UN System.

This gathering will bring together a diverse audience, encompassing government representatives, private sector leaders, donors, members of youth organizations, refugee-led networks, UN entities, development actors, and other stakeholders. The event promises a platform for participants to declare pledges and extend support for the empowerment of refugee youth in global humanitarian and development initiatives.

Join us in this collaborative effort to empower and uplift young refugees, recognizing their resilience and vital contributions to building a more inclusive and sustainable future.