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World Refugee Day: End conflict that drives ‘appalling’ displacements

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Saturday, June 20, 2020

File: UN Refugee Agency Commissioner, Filippo Grandi with a woman displaced by violence in South Sudan during his two-day visit in Juba and Bentiu. PHOTO/@Refugees Chief/Filippo Grandi

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called on every country to end conflicts and persecutions that drive people away from their homes.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, global displacement is at a record high—figures reached 79.5 million in 2019, with 10 million people fleeing in the past year alone.

In a message to mark the day, Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General reminded countries of their fundamental obligation to protect the nearly 80 million people worldwide forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, and other crises.

He, however, calls on all nations to solve conflicts that force people to flee as refugees.

“On World Refugee Day, we pledge to do everything in our power to stop the conflicts and persecution that drives these appalling numbers,” Guterres said.

“Today we also recognize the generosity and humanity of host communities and countries that often struggle with their own economic and security concerns.  We owe these countries our thanks, our support, and our investments.”

“We must all work to reestablish the integrity international protection regime and to implement the pledges made at the global refugee forum so that refugees and those communities receive the support they need,” he added.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic poses an additional threat to refugees and displaced people who are among the most vulnerable.

The UN chief thanks refugees for their resourcefulness and determination to rebuild their own lives, and to improve the lives of those around them.

“From camps in Bangladesh to hospitals in Europe, refugees are working as nurses, doctors, scientists, teachers and in other essential roles, protecting themselves and giving back to the communities that host them,” Guterres said.

Marked under the theme Every Action Counts, the World Refugee Day aims to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and every action counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world.

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