Tag Archives: refugees

Secretary-General’s Statement

On my way back from Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa that for decades has been keeping its borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighbours, many times in dramatic security situations, I want to state the following:

Countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders
to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organisations.

This cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality because:

  • that is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based
  • that triggers widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organisations we all want to fight against;
  • blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements.

I am also particularly concerned by the decisions that around the world have been undermining the integrity of the international refugee protection regime. Refugees fleeing conflict
and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, according to international refugee law.

31 January 2017

Joint IOM-UNHCR Statement on President Trump’s Refugee Order

28 January 2017 | Français | عربي

GENEVA – The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater, and the U.S. resettlement program is one of the most important in the world.

The longstanding U.S. policy of welcoming refugees has created a win-win situation: it has saved the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world who have in turn enriched and strengthened their new societies. The contribution of refugees and migrants to their new homes worldwide has been overwhelmingly positive.

Resettlement places provided by every country are vital. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, hope that the U.S. will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.

UNHCR and IOM remain committed to working with the U.S. Administration towards the goal we share to ensure safe and secure resettlement and immigration programmes.

We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.

We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the U.S. Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters.

Media contacts:
In Washington, Chris Boian, boian@unhcr.org, +1 202 489 6884
In Geneva, Vannina Maestracci, maestrac@unhcr.org​, +41 79 108 3532

PRESS RELEASE – Statement by the United Nations Country Team in Papua New Guinea

The United Nations system in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by recent reports of human rights violations against asylum seekers on Manus Island. We note the reports of severe beating of two refugees allegedly by police and immigration officers on the 31st of December 2016, and the arrest and detention of one individual by the police on 13th of January 2017 apparently without charges being brought against the individual.

TOGETHER: a global campaign to change perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants

The Secretary-General launched the TOGETHER campaign at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September: All 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously welcomed the TOGETHER campaign and committed to implementing it. The campaign aims to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants.

Listen to UNIC Canberra  Together Campaign audio series

The Courage and Resilience of Migrants and Refugees

As part of the UN’s “Together, Respect Safety and Dignity for All” Campaign Belinda Mason Director of the film ‘Constance on the Edge” talks to UNIC Canberra’s Julia Dean about the strength and resilience of migrants – what they have to offer their new communities and how a chat and a hot ‘cup of tea’ may be all that is needed to create new friendships.

The film Constance on the Edge, filmed over 10 years, is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. Brave, lion-hearted, charismatic Constance, mother of six, confronts her painful past in war torn Sudan, and risks everything in Australia so her family can thrive.

Remarks By UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Remarks At Closing Session Of High-Level Plenary Meeting On Addressing Large Movements Of Refugees and Migrants 19 September

Mr President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,This has been an historic day. On behalf of the Secretary-General, I congratulate Member States for adopting by consensus the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. This shows that despite differing perspectives we can unite around common principles and around core commitments to refugees and migrants.  

Large movements of refugees and migrants present some of the most challenging issues of our time. Individually, many Member States have demonstrated positive approaches to refugees and migrants.  They have saved the lives of migrants at sea. They have treated migrants humanely. They have extended protection to refugees.

Press Release On New York Declaration For Refugees And Migrants Adopted By All Member States At Historic UN Summit

UN logo 279UNITED NATIONS, New York – Monday, 19 September 2016 – World leaders came together at the United Nations General Assembly today to adopt the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants which expresses the political will of world leaders to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Member States saying: “Today’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility.” He said the adoption of the New York Declaration will mean that “more children can attend school; more workers can securely seek jobs abroad, instead of being at the mercy of criminal smugglers, and more people will have real choices about whether to move once we end conflict, sustain peace and increase opportunities at home.”

Over 140 World Leaders Gather at UN in New York

Sustainable Development Goals logos

19-23 September

Since the unanimous adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, governments, the private sector and civil society are quickly moving to take the action that we need to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030.

To mark the first year anniversary, a number of high-level events and side events are taking place from 19 to 23 September.

Who:    
Heads of State and Government, joined by leaders from the private sector, civil society organisations, academia and senior UN officials

What:  
Key intergovernmental events plus dozens of other meetings and side events by governments, UN agencies and leaders from civil society, foundations and the private sector will raise awareness around many issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals. Please note all events listed below are subject to change.

When: 
19-23 September 2016, with more events occurring before and after

Where: 
United Nations Headquarters (and surrounding venues)
High-level events will be webcast live at http://webtv.un.org/

 Next page for information on events and their contacts

United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants 

The UN General Assembly will host a high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach on Monday 19 September 2016 at the UNHQ in New York.

The large forced displacement of populations is now a global crisis that requires a collective effort by the international community, led by world leaders. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on everyone to work together to define a clear path forward guided by international refugee law, human rights and humanitarian law.

Ms Karen AbuZayd, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Summit gave a briefing to Diplomats via webex  at our office last week – listen to Ms Karen AbuZayd remarks.

For more information on the Summit