UNHCR demands int’l leadership to address refugee issue

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has asked for international leadership to address the refugee issue.

In the last 10 years, the number of people forcibly displaced has doubled, to almost 80 million people and at the same time, solutions remain elusive, Xinhua news agency quoted Grandi as telling the Security Council on Thursday.

His comments came two days before World Refugee Day which is marked annually on June 20.

The number of people displaced has been rising since 2012 and 2011 was the last year in which this figure went down. Since then it has risen year after year, he noted.

The global trends represent, in a way, the human impact of a decade of crises: wars, violence, persecution and discrimination against people and groups, and countries in which social breakdown prevails.

All of this is accelerated by poor governance, by the climate emergency, by prevailing inequality and exclusion, he said.

“These trends somehow show how, when leadership fails, when multilateralism, which you represent, doesn’t live up to its promise, the consequences are felt not in the global capitals of our world; not in the homes of the powerful and of the rich.

“They are felt in the peripheries of nations, in border communities, among the urban poor, in the lives of those that have no power.

“And among them are the refugees and the displaced, whose history is too often told only in numbers and statistics, who appear in newspapers and our social media feed only as pawns in political debates, or frankly, as part of grotesque international squabbles on who can push them back or push them away harder, and further,” he added.

Grandi asked for unity and leadership of the Security Council.

“Please, echo and follow up on the ceasefire call of the Secretary-General. Use your leadership and influence, the tools and resources that you have at your disposal, to seek out and to expand space for solutions,” he said.

Resolving forced displacement concerns areas that are at the heart of the Security Council’s mandate, said Grandi.