On 7 June 2018, the second Universities #JoinTogether Conference was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Together is a global UN-led initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for refugees. Since September 2016, Together has been a prominent player in the global effort to combat xenophobia.
R2E represented the Dutch delegation, and Ellen (public relations manager) gave a presentation on Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. At Right2Education, we believe that a strong institution is one that is able to appreciate – which we see as synonymous to listening -, adapt and act.
At R2E we believe that a strong institution is one that is flexible and able to appreciate, adapt and act. Many organisations have been working extremely hard in changing the perceptions regarding refugees. However, what we have noticed the emergence of a industry that uses refugee advocacy as a business model. The question of refugeehood is not a business model, is not a promotional facade, it is a deep-rooted question about identity. As organizations, our aim is not to compete against one another to be “the best representative of refugees” but rather to be a solidarity-based network dedicated to refugee inclusion and providing a space for individual voices to be heard. Institutional strength lies its commitment to plurality – a necessary prerequisite for sustainable and progressive change.