Geneva is home to a number of UN specialized agencies and other international humanitarian organizations i.e. the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and the Secretariat of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
In line with their respective mandates, these international bodies respond to humanitarian emergencies and support people and communities displaced by conflict and disasters. Civil society organizations active in the humanitarian affairs are also based in the city. Pakistan values the contribution and support provided by these bodies.
As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, Pakistan has constructively contributed to the evolution of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and works closely with key actors for progressive development of laws and norms.
Pakistan advocates for adoption of a strategic approach that envisages respect for international humanitarian law, prevention of conflicts from eruption, resolution of long-standing disputes and sustained global engagement.
Pakistan underscores the importance of respecting the principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and objectivity as the basis of all humanitarian responses. States have primary responsibility and role in the initiation, identification, coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Pakistan considers close coordination between international humanitarian bodies with national and local authorities to facilitate access. Timely, predictable, adequate and quality financing is essential for effective humanitarian responses. Flexible, un-earmarked humanitarian financing is vital for independent operations of the humanitarian organizations and to uphold fundamental humanitarian norms.
Pakistan has had its share of humanitarian emergencies arising from natural disasters i.e. the devastating earthquake of 2005, floods in 2010, 2011 and 2022. Together with international partners, Pakistan responded effectively to these emergencies.
Pakistan continues to augment its national capacities of preparedness, response and mitigation with a focus on policy development, institutional capacity building, improving coordination, and coherence.
Pakistan has contributed to the global normative and operational responses in the humanitarian field. Pakistan has actively participated in and contributed to the mobilization of international support and assistance for refugees.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan co-convened the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) held in December, 2019 in Geneva. In February 2020, Pakistan co-hosted Islamabad Conference with UNHCR on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan.
Pakistan has demonstrated humanitarian leadership by hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades. Working closely with the UN specialized agencies and other partners, Pakistan has provided protection, access to education, health and livelihoods to refugees.
The Mission engages these international bodies and organizations; communicates its perspective and priorities; advocates for adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law; supports greater and predictable humanitarian funding and calls for enhanced partnerships to amplify the impact of assistance to people displaced by conflict, violence and disasters.
The Mission also closely coordinates on these issues with national institutions in Pakistan.
Pakistan is the fifth most populated developing country and has been a generous host to millions of refugees for several decades. For over twenty years, Pakistan was the largest refugee host country in the world.
At present, Pakistan continues to provide protection and assistance to the second largest global refugee population and the world’s largest protracted refugee population under UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s mandate for over forty years.
Currently, over 1.4 million Afghan refugees are registered with UNHCR. In addition, there are over 1 million unregistered Afghans nationals residing in Pakistan.
Despite economic constraints, Pakistan has pursued an inclusive, generous and compassionate approach for all refugees in the country. Pakistan values international cooperation and partnership in addressing refugee challenges, encountered by host countries.
Although not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, Pakistan has continued to extend protection to Afghan refugees through a Tripartite Agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR.
Pakistan advocates for a strategic approach towards refugee situations; entailing prioritized focus on prevention and protection directed at durable solutions.
Pakistan continues to underscore faithful adherence to the long-standing principle of international burden and responsibility sharing in managing refugee situations and easing the burden on host countries. Accordingly, Pakistan is of the view that innovative financing arrangements in support of refugee protection need to be designed and implemented in accordance with this globally agreed principle.
Pakistan has consistently adhered to a policy of voluntary repatriation of refugees, while underscoring the need for corresponding and complementary efforts to create pull factors in the country of origin.
The UNHCR, as the lead UN agency working for refugees, is headquartered in Geneva. The Executive Committee (ExCom) of UNHCR is its governing body and functions as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.
Pakistan became member of the ExCom in 1988, and has been actively contributing to the programme and work of UNHCR, as a major refugee hosting country.
The Mission participates in and advocates Pakistan’s perspective, priorities and interests in the UNHCR ExCom and related platforms.
Human mobility and migration have always been and continue to be shaped by transformations in the economic, political, social and technological landscapes. In turn, migrants have always played a significant role in each of these fields.
As a large developing country, Pakistan has been and is a country of origin, transit and destination for migrants. Pakistan has hosted millions of migrants, in pursuit of economic opportunities or displaced due to conflicts in the neighbourhood and beyond.
Notwithstanding the numbers, timeframe and formal status, migrants have enjoyed social mobility, employment opportunities and access to health and education in Pakistan for decades.
Pakistan is also one of the major countries of origin for migrants. An estimated eleven million Pakistanis reside, work and study abroad. Pakistan is one of the main foreign remittances receiving country, overseas Pakistanis sent an estimated US$ 27 billion to Pakistan in the fiscal year 2023.
Pakistani diaspora has contributed significantly to national development in the country as well as in countries of their residence.
Pakistan considers human mobility and migration as vital vehicles of development, innovation and prosperity for all.
Migration issues are increasingly linked to global discourse on globalization, development, innovation, human rights and the world of work. In recent years, the political salience of migration has evinced greater media, academic, policy and research interest.
Pakistan considers it essential to pursue multi-dimensional dialogue, international cooperation, partnerships among and between States, businesses, organizations and other stakeholders on the entire range of migration discourse.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), established in 1951 and headquartered in Geneva, is the lead inter-governmental organization that handles migration issues.
Pakistan joined the IOM in 1992 and has since actively engaged, participated in and contributed to the work of IOM Council, its Committees and Working Groups.
The Mission participates in and advocates Pakistan’s views, priorities and interests in the IOM and other formal and informal processes related to migration.
 As of July 2023.
 As per the ILO data in 2019.