Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to represent his country as a co-convener at the first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which is going to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on December 17 and 18.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Switzerland government will jointly host the GRF – the first major meeting on refugees of the 21st century, The News International reported.

The meeting will also be co-convened by Turkey, Pakistan, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. The secretary-general of the United Nations and head of states from the co-convening countries are expected to attend.

Last year, the UN’s General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) after two years of extensive consultation led by UNHCR with member states, international organisations, refugees, civil society, private sector and experts.

The forum has four key objectives that included the easing of pressures on host countries, enhancement of refugees’ self-reliance, expansion of access to third-country solutions and support of conditions in countries of origin for their return with safety and dignity.

Qaiser Khan Afridi, the UNHCR’s spokesperson in Pakistan said that as a co-convenor of the world meeting on refugees, Pakistan, as well as Germany, Turkey, Ethiopia and Costa Rica, will have a unique opportunity to help generate concrete pledges and contributions to make tangible and a long-term difference in the lives of refugees and the communities that host them, The News International reported.

According to the UNHCR, Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million registered Afghans who have been forced to flee their homes.

In September this year, PM Khan addressed the UN General Assembly and raised issues related to India’s Kashmir.

On Thursday, Khan launched an initiative called ‘Digital Pakistan Vision’, which “has been designed for the government and the private sector to work towards a digitally progressive and inclusive Pakistan”.

(With inputs from agency)