15th January 2024

SGI Attends the Second Global Refugee Forum

  • Humanitarian relief

From 13–15 December 2023, the Second Global Refugee Forum (GRF) was held in Geneva. Held every four years, the GRF aims to accelerate the implementation of improvements to refugee situations, based on the Global Compact on Refugees. More than 4,200 participants from 168 countries attended the Forum, including around 300 refugee delegates.

On 12 December, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized a session for religious leaders, which an SGI representative attended. Session attendees created a Religious Leaders Statement, which promises religious leaders’ collective support to refugees regardless of their nationality, race, religious beliefs and so on. The Statement was agreed upon by 20 religious and faith-based organizations and officially published during the GRF.

Prior to the GRF, Soka Gakkai submitted two pledges to continue efforts to support refugees. The first pledge promises to help raise awareness of the situation of refugees in Japan, aiming to widen the circle of support for them. In the past, Soka Gakkai has organized film screening events and exhibitions that support this goal. Additionally, its organ newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun, has published interviews with people from refugee-led and support organizations and experts on refugee issues. Soka Gakkai has pledged to continue this support for the next four years and more.

The second pledge was a joint pledge between Soka Gakkai and Musicians Without Borders (MWB) to continue their ongoing music education program “Music Brings Us Together” in Jordan, which launched in 2021. During the first three years of the program’s implementation, 91 trainees participated as primary beneficiaries in the training courses, which included two curricula: “Music Leadership Training” and “Music as Therapy.”

The trainees have implemented about 400 music workshops in total, which positively impacted more than 1,200 children of different backgrounds and origins, including Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Palestinians and Syrians. The music activities learned in the program include body percussion, rhythms, movement to music, songwriting, composing and new variations on music games.

In 2024, the “Music Brings Us Together” program will launch its second phase, which will put more emphasis on children with special needs, orphans and formerly incarcerated youth, in addition to strengthening the network of music trainers. Soka Gakkai and MWB have pledged to continue delivering this service to more than 300 children in refugee and host communities each year.