Mr Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), paid a working visit to Monaco on Wednesday, February 15. He was accompanied by Mr Ralf Gruenert, UNHCR Representative in Monaco and France.
Mr Grandi was received in audience by HSH Prince Albert in the presence of Mrs Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Counselor to the Prince’s Cabinet and HE Mrs Carole Lanteri, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
A working lunch was also organised by the Minister of State, as well as a meeting with Mr Gilles Tonelli, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Principality has been cooperating with the Office of UNHCR since 1956 and has always affirmed its solidarity with people fleeing war or persecution. In a particularly difficult international context, with displacements unprecedented since the Second World War, these meetings provided an opportunity to discuss the urgency of the migrant crisis, particularly in the Mediterranean, but also to reiterate the long-standing support from the Principality to UNHCR.
The procedures set up by the government for the reception of refugees from the Middle East was also at the centre of discussions: the Principality intends to assume its share of responsibility on a global scale.
At the end of the day, in order to illustrate Monaco’s commitment to the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, the Government of Monaco signed two partnership agreements with UNHCR for a total contribution of €670,000 over three years for projects in favour of refugees in Morocco and Tunisia. In 2016, the Principality was the fifth largest donor country to UNHCR per capita.
This was the first official visit of UNHCR in the Principality.