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Updated On: Friday, November 24 2017

UNHCR Filippo Grandi Addressed the Security Council

Content by: South-South News

3 November 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — Briefing the Council on the situation of refugees worldwide, Grandi said countries bordering crisis zones are struggling to absorb the social, economic, and political shocks of large-scale refugee movements, while the broader consequences of unresolved conflicts reverberate across and beyond regions. He said the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is now approaching 66 million, up from 42 million in 2009; this includes 17.2 million refugees under UNHCR's responsibility- a 70% increase since then.

The High Commissioner said this rise reflects the “declining capacity to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts.” He stressed that competing interests “are being pursued through proxy wars, instead of being resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.” He said focus has turn to short-term interests rather than long-term collective stability.

Grandi said he sees the direct impact of these failures on the lives of tens of millions of people “forced to abandon their homes with grim prospects of being able to return sometimes for generations.” He added, “When I meet refugees, their first question is not about food or shelter, but about peace and security because it is security and peace that will convince them to return home.”

The High Commissioner said weaknesses in international solidarity with refugees are also eroding protection for those who flee. He noted that many refugee-hosting countries keep their borders open and generously host thousands, sometimes millions, of refugees, while certain countries, “often those least impacted by refugee flows and often wealthy ones, have closed borders, restricting access to asylum and deterring entry.” Grandi called on the Security Council to engage in five key areas to deal with the issue of forced displacement; namely, conflict prevention, peacekeeping operations, trafficking and exploitation of refugees and migrants, creating sustainable peace, and protection of civilians while solutions are being perused.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) chief said security and the establishment of respect for human rights and the rule of law in Rakhine State are essential pre-requisites for the return of refugees to Myanmar. He stressed that “progress on citizenship for the stateless Rohingya is absolutely crucial, as will be community reconciliation and investment in inclusive development benefiting all communities.”

Storyline by: Unifeed

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