Dhaka, June 19 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has laid emphasis on investment in the countries which are hosting refugees despite struggle with their own economic challenges and security concerns.
“I want to recognise the humanity of countries that host refugees even as they struggle with their own economic challenges and security concerns. We must match their hospitality with development and investment,” he said.
The UN chief made the remarks in a message marking the World Refugee Day that falls on June 20.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017.
Guterres said most of the forcibly displaced came from just a handful of countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. “In the past 18 months, millions more have fled Venezuela.”
“On World Refugee Day, my thoughts are with the more than 70 million women, children and men – refugees and internally displaced persons -- who have been forced to flee war, conflict and persecution,” he said adding that this is an astonishing number – twice what it was 20 years ago.
Guterres said it is regrettable that their example is not followed by all. “We must reestablish the integrity of the international protection regime.”
He said the Global Compact on Refugees, adopted last December, offers a blueprint for modern refugee response. “What refugees need most urgently is peace.“
The UN chief said millions of people around the world have joined UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign and are taking steps, big and small, in solidarity with refugees. “Will you take a step with refugees, too?”
Refugees originating from Myanmar represented the fourth largest population group by country of origin and most Rohingyas from Myanmar were hosted by Bangladesh at the end of the year 2018, said a global report on Wednesday.
The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, and this is the highest level that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has seen in its almost 70 years.
Other countries with sizable populations of refugees from Myanmar were Malaysia (114,200), Thailand (97,600) and India (18,800).