QUETTA: The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR signed a Partnership Agreement with Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) on 7th June 2017 Wednesday.
This collaboration is aimed at establishing a Centre for Refugees and Migration Studies (CRMS) as well as provision of training for refugee teachers and opportunities for entrepreneurship/business studies for refugee students in the university. On the occasion, a plaque marking the establishment of the Centre was also unveiled jointly by UNHCR Country Representative Mr. Indrika Ratwatte, Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr. Imran Zeb and BUITEMS Vice Chancellor Engr. Ahmed Farooq Bazai.
Under the Partnership Agreement, UNHCR will support the university to establish a Centre in its premises and BUITEMS would provide admission to the refugee students and trainings for the refugee teachers. Delivering an inaugural lecture titled “Management of Refugees and Migrants for Lasting Regional Peace”, UNHCR Country Representative Indrika Ratwatte praised the commitment of BUITEMS for providing opportunities for refugees terming it as an important step towards empowering youth and achieving broader goals for peace and prosperity in the region. Forced displacement is one of the biggest human crises the world is facing now. Pakistan has been generously hosting refugees for decades. It is therefore essential that all stakeholders come together to facilitate durable and lasting solutions for them.
Vice Chancellor Mr. Ahmed Farooq Bazai (S.I.) welcoming the guests stressed the need for quality education, research and academic exercises on socio-economic issues in the region including the challenges pertaining to refugees and migrants. The Vice Chancellor stated that BUITEMS is producing global citizens capable of finding tailored solutions to some of the compelling regional and global challenges. We equip the students with the art of living to become productive members of the society. He assured that BUITEMS is fully prepared and upfront to support the national and international community in their endeavours.
The Centre once operational will serve as a repository of information on issues related to refugees and migration, and analyse and disseminate those information to the wider audience. This will be achieved through regular publications of research works, talk programmes and organizing periodic events like seminars/workshops which are expected to inform all stakeholders on issues surrounding refugees and migrants. It is expected that the outcomes of this collaboration between UNHCR and BUITEMS would assist policy and decision makers with concrete recommendations for addressing the actions needed towards management of refugees and migrants in the region. UNHCR will also facilitate BUITEMS in its efforts to strengthen the Centre’s capacity by networking with other similar research centres and education institutions globally.
Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr. Imran Zeb thanked UNHCR and BUITEMS for entering into this important and timely collaboration which should help further nurture the existing harmonious relationship and understanding between refugee and host communities and enable sustainable solutions for refugees who have endured displacement for almost four decades. “Every refugee deserves a bright and safe future and providing such admirable opportunities would not only make refugees students and teachers productive in their homeland but valuable for securing peace in the region. This is actually a contribution to lead towards prosperous world for everyone”, he said.
The event was also attended by UNHCR deputy country representative Johann Siffointe, head of UNHCR sub-office Quetta Dinesh Shrestha, Commissioner Afghan Refugees Quetta Brig (R) Masood Ahmad, Afghan Consul General Mr. Wajeedullah Momand, BUITEMS’s faculty members and students, and representatives of UN agencies and civil society members.
Mir Behram Baloch
Published in The Balochistan Point on June 8, 2017