World Refugee Day 2004 activities were closely tied to Barcelona Universal Forum of Cultures.
Angelina Jolie had joined High Commissioner Lubbers at the closing session of a four-year-long dialogue series titled, “Conflicts: Prevention, Resolution and Reconciliation”.
“My perfect world would be one without refugees,” Angelina Jolie told the panel. “That would mean a world without war, without ethnic and religious hatred, without devouring greed, without persecution. I applaud your efforts to bring the measure of tolerance that could make such a world a reality.”
She added, “I have walked away from my encounters with refugees carrying a deep conviction that they all have something to contribute to the world community. I would ask you to ensure that your Dialogue recommendations include concrete measures for finding solutions for refugees, so that they have a chance to rebuild their lives in peace and dignity.”
Angelina Jolie helped children from Mozambique and Cataluña to hang up lucky charms for refugees at the Forum’s “Sky of Aspirations” installation.
Six-year-old Aysia from Canada wrote, “I have a house to keep me warm, and I pray that refugees will have a place to call home again soon.”
Switzerland’s Johan, 11, and Julia, 12, added, “We wish refugee children can wake up every day feeling cosy at home, with breakfast cooking, their family around, and their toys.”
“Refugee kids should have a great school like ours, with nice teachers and lots of fun things to do like soccer and painting and story-telling,” wished Alison, six, and Megan, eight, from the United States.
Other World Refugee Day events in Barcelona include a photo exhibition on displaced women in Colombia, and a Greek drama, “The Children of Herakles”, that was preceded by a debate on current asylum and immigration issues.
Angelina Jolie donated $500000 to establish a legal resource center, which will provide lawyers for children who immigrate to the U.S. without their parents.
The central World Refugee Day event, as well as the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony, were held on 20 June in Barcelona, Spain, as part of the Universal Forum of Cultures http://www.barcelona2004.org/eng/eventos/espectaculos/ficha.cfm?IdEvento=3241
During the day, UNHCR participated in a dialogue session about "Conflicts: Prevention, Resolution and Reconciliation", organized by the Spanish National Association, España con ACNUR. This session concluded an important policy conference series that had been taking place for four years. Participants included some 500 senior diplomats, top level government officials, business leaders and humanitarian lawyers from all over the world. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers gave a speech and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie
said a few words at the closure of the session. On the Forum plaza, Ms. Jolie, the Mayor of Barcelona Joan Clos and children of various nationalities hung lucky charms and wishes for refugees in the "Sky of Aspirations", a huge artificial sky. 2,000 white and blue UNHCR kytes were launched over the Forum to symbolise “a common sky for all.”
A photo exhibit about internally displaced women in Colombia by photographer Colita, titled “Mujer Atlas: Conflict in Colombia”, was held in the Cuidadela Park in Barcelona. A concert by Nayla, a Lebanese singer, took place in the Haima of the Forum’s Fair. In the evening of 20 June, the 50th anniversary of the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony was held in the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. Guests included dignitaries such as Her Royal Highness The Infanta Cristina of Spain, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, the President of the Generalitat de Cataluña Pasqual Maragall, Barcelona’s Mayor Joan Clos, and Spain's Secretary of State for International Cooperation Leire Pajín. Spanish actor Imanol Arias was the master of ceremony.