03 February 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR, UNCTAD, UNHCR and IOM organized the online side event “Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees: Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, on 25 January 2021, in the framework of the13th Summit of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD). It was held in English, with interpretation services to Arabic and French. There was a wide participation from all regions, with representatives from States, private sector, academia, and civil society.

During the first section of the event, Ms. Tatiana Krylova, Head of Enterprise Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD, Mr. Mamadou Dian Balde, Deputy Director, Division of Resilience and Solutions, UNHCR, and Ms. Tanja Dedovic, Senior Regional Thematic Specialist on Labor Mobility and Human Development, Regional Office for Middle East and North Africa (IOM, MENA), explained relevant information on the Importance of Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees in the Context of Innovative Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Following this section, Ms. Mariana Mesanelli Nunes, Global Development Lead, Impact Hub Network, United Kingdom Mr. David Apollo Kazungu, Commissioner for Refugees, Department of Refugees, Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda, and Dr. Huriye Yeroz, Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, United Kingdom and Guest Lecturer, Sabancı University, Turkey, shared from their experience good practices and challenges.

Mr. Alex Mejia, Director, Division for People and Social Inclusion at UNITAR, Head, CIFAL Global Network, was the Moderator of the event and launched the Arabic version of the e-learning course on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees.

As background information, the launch of the original version of this course -in English- took place in the framework of the previous Summit of the GFMD, on 20 January 2020, in Quito, Ecuador. The Chair of UNITAR’s Board of Trustees, His Excellency, Ambassador Luis Gallegos, current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, presented a specific message about the importance of this course on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres. Some months later, the Spanish version of the course was developed. Its launch took place on 18 November 2020, during a special meeting with the Friends of the GFMD.

So far, there have been three successful iterations of the English and one of the Spanish versions. More than 450 participants from all regions have received certificates of participation and completion. Different profiles from all regions, have joined us, including delegates of States, private sector, and academia. After a quite positive and encouraging feedback, the UN agencies involved joined forces again for preparing the Arabic version of this e-learning course to make it even more inclusive than before.

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