The Spanish delegation that attends the First Forum on Refugees, headed by the acting Minister of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and which also includes the Ministry of Migration, under the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security , as well as officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, in addition to the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), has defended Spain's commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees and has presented the five fields in which the Government is actively working to improve the treatment of displaced persons, highlighting the comprehensive reform of the Asylum and Refuge Office, which has allowed multiplying the resolution of requests.

Minister Grande-Marlaska has pointed out that the forum, driven by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the collaboration of the Swiss Government, "represents a decisive step towards the achievement of the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees", in whose negotiation and adoption process Spain has already actively participated. "In a context marked by the increase in the number of forced displacements, it is essential that this first Forum on Refugees be an opportunity to translate the principle of sharing international responsibility into concrete actions," he said.

The acting Interior Minister has also recalled that Spain is a country committed to International Protection, as evidenced by the fact that, since 2012, applications submitted in the country have multiplied by 14, exceeding 100,000 during 2019.

From the Secretary of State for Migration, which has been headed by Consuelo Rumí, they have explained that the implementation of national resettlement programs has allowed 1,200 people to go from 1,200 to 2014 to resettle under the 2018 program. biennium, the objective is to design multiannual resettlement plans, increase the number of resettled people and work to improve the previous information provided to resettled people, as well as encourage them to benefit from current family reunification programs.

The goal is to receive a total of 500 refugees through community sponsorship programs in two years. For this, the number of places in the Basque Country will be expanded and new programs will be opened in the Autonomous Communities of Valencia, Madrid and Catalonia. In addition, in the 2019/2020 period, work will be carried out with the aim of granting 300 visas / scholarships for university refugees, obtaining family reunification of a total of 300 refugees and facilitating refugee persons' access to the labor market.

The document presented by Spain at this meeting, where world leaders, representatives of civil society, figures from the international community and members of the private sector are cited to analyze and exchange practices related to migration, asylum and refuge policies, are structure around two axes: an analysis of the Spanish refugee system, being able to confirm that Spain's legislation and policies in this area are already applying the Global Compact; and a series of concrete commitments of Spain for the I Forum.

The first is the strengthening of the international protection system, with the consolidation of the Comprehensive Transformation Plan of the Office of Asylum and Refuge, of the Ministry of Interior, which has made it possible to expedite the procedure for granting international protection and recognition of the status of the stateless, increasing the rate of resolution of the files to exceed 54,000 at the end of November, compared to 12,889 resolved throughout 2018.

The second is the refinement of the resettlement system and the search for complementary ways, following the recommendations of the UNHCR Triennial Strategy 2019-2021.

The third is the external humanitarian action of Spain, which will work to promote measures in favor of refugees and displaced persons. Specifically, the Government of Spain will contribute 50 million euros between 2020 and 2022 as a contribution to the response to the Venezuelan crisis, aligning with the plans defined in the framework of the United Nations.

The fourth is the favor in the countries of origin of conditions that favor a safe and dignified return.

And the fifth, the promotion of a national Action Plan for the implementation of the Global Pact on Refugees in Spain, with the participation of relevant actors in the field of refugees, especially civil society, the private sector and international organizations such as UNHCR , in addition to regional and local authorities.

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