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UNHCR Events

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Every year, UNHCR holds several special events to recognize the lives of refugees and those who are dedicated to helping them. Our two blue riband events are World Refugee Day and the Nansen Refugee Award.

World Refugee Day

First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. Tens of thousands of people around the world take time to recognize and applaud the contribution of forcibly displaced people throughout the world. The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.

The Nansen Refugee Award

This annual award is named after the late great Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who was appointed in 1921 by the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, to be the very first High Commissioner for Refugees. The Nansen Award, consisting of a medal and a US$100,000 monetary prize, is given out every year in October to a person or group for outstanding services in supporting refugee causes.

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High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges

Two-day international discussion focuses on protection gaps and responses.

The Nansen Refugee Award

The Nansen Refugee Award

Given to individuals or organizations for outstanding service in the cause of refugees.

Ministerial Meeting

UNHCR organized a highly successful ministerial meeting in Geneva on December 7-8, 2011 to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.