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Kiwi refugee advocate says he will take 'inclusive' message to first-ever Global Refugee Forum

A former refugee, now advocate has been invited to attend the inaugural Global Refugee Forum in Switzerland next week.

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Former refugee Guled Mire will attend the Forum in Geneva next week. Source: Breakfast

Guled Mire came to New Zealand 22-years-ago as a refuge from Somalia with his mum and eight siblings and settled in Hamilton.

He has since become an advocate for the refugee community in New Zealand, his work coming to the fore following the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack.

And now his advocacy is being recognised on a global scale – Mr Mire has been invited to talk at the United Nations first-ever refugee forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

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“It’s quite a significant landmark occasion in the sense that really we are talking about the biggest movement that’s happened in the refugee space for decades,” he told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

“It’s been quite a tumultuous period in terms of refugees around the world but also here in New Zealand,” he says.

The message he says he wants to take is one if inclusivity.

“We need to be more inclusive and welcoming to refugees, we all need to play a part.

“There’s a lot of myths and assumptions about refugees in New Zealand and all around the world, - 84 per cent of the global refugee population are actually in developing states, that’s actually where the pressure is, countries like Kenya and Pakistan who these large numbers of refugees are having a strain on their infrastructure.

“We have a sense of responsibility to do our part, and I think right now is the time for New Zealand to lead in that space.” he says.

It comes as Netsafe New Zealand reports a rise in online hate speech directed most often towards the Muslim community.

“We need to do better,” Mr Mire says.