Guterres visits refugees resettled in NYC, urges world to ‘stand collectively in solidarity’ |

“Like hundreds of thousands of refugees worldwide, they’re serving to convey new life, prosperity and wealthy variety to their host communities. We should proceed supporting them,” the UN chief mentioned on Twitter following the go to.

Mr. Guterres, who was the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015, burdened the very important function of developed nations in receiving refugees and offering them with alternatives, whoever they’re and wherever they arrive from.

Dwelling ‘in limbo’

Mr. Guterres’ first cease was in Brooklyn, the place he visited Suzan Al Shammari, an Iraqi refugee who in 2010 fled together with her household from Baghdad to Cairo, Egypt.

Registered with the UN refugee company, UNHCR, they had been later in a position to resettle in California and from there, with additional help, they made their solution to New York.

Ms. Al Shammari informed the Secretary-Basic that having grown up in warfare, she needs to have the ability to help different refugees. In that spirit, she is presently a caseworker with a non-governmental group (NGO) – having just lately graduating with a college grasp’s diploma.

“Day by day you assume it will be the final. And it isn’t simply a kind of issues… it actually may very well be your final. Once I went to Egypt with my household it was additionally exhausting being there as a refugee in limbo. So, shifting to the US, as huge a blessing because it was, it took me some years to regulate that ‘I’m not going to die tomorrow’,” Ms. Al Shammari mentioned.

Second likelihood

Resettling gives the chance of a “second likelihood” for these pressured to flee, mentioned Ms. Al Shammari.

“Bringing refugees in is a life-saving measure and it’s one thing that every chief, every nation, ought to contribute to and be accountable for,” she mentioned.

Having been afforded the chance of a superb schooling, a secure new residence and fluency in her host nation’s language, the Iraqi refugee acknowledged that she was “one of many fortunate ones”.

“I can inform from my private expertise… it isn’t simple to come back to a rustic you don’t know, to a language you don’t communicate. Each my dad and mom had been engineers again in Iraq and [now] they can not work with their levels,” Ms. Al Shammari defined.

She believed that it could assist “if companies took extra initiative, employed refugees, and created extra alternatives for immigrants”.

Day by day you assume it will be the final – resettled Iraqi refugee

“You see, some will hear their accent, hear they don’t communicate good English, and say, ‘I don’t assume that is going to work out’”.

Displaced in Iraq

Based on the most recent UN knowledge, presently some 1.2 million internally displaced individuals (IDPs) in Iraq from amongst greater than six million initially displaced by violence involving the ISIL terror community from 2014 to 2017.

In the meantime, Iraq has been internet hosting greater than 290,000 refugees from Syria and different nations – principally within the Kurdistan area, which in early 2020, housed 25 of the nation’s 26 camps.

Settled within the US

Mr. Guterres then headed to Queens to go to an Afghan refugee couple, Shafi Alif and Rohina Sofizada, who welcomed him with spiced inexperienced tea and conventional Afghan treats.

Chatting over their cups, Mr. Alif revealed that in 1992 when he was 5 months outdated, his household walked for 40 days to hunt asylum in Pakistan – the place they remained for over 10 years.

They registered with UNHCR, which later helped them voluntarily returned to Afghanistan in 2002. The UN company offered monetary help as they settled again in Kabul, together with for transportation and a money stipend.

The couple agreed that they’d “peaceable years” within the nation till 2018.

Working with the US Embassy in Kabul, Ms. Sofizada obtained a particular visa to resettle within the US and Mr. Alif, who labored with the Polish Military within the Afghan capital, joined her later, on a particular immigrant visa.

UN Picture/Eskinder Debebe

In commemorating World Refugee Day, Secretary-Basic António Guterres visits with an Afghan refugee couple who resettled in Queens.

Household who stayed

Although joyful they might make it to the US, they’re involved about their household in Pakistan, who once more left Kabul after the Taliban took over final August.

“My household was rejected on the border two instances, even having all [the necessary] visas and paperwork,” mentioned Ms. Sofizada. “We’re relieved to be right here, however we nonetheless fear about our family”.

Mr. Shafi can also be working to assist newcomers as an NGO caseworker, the place he helps arriving Afghan evacuees and parolees.

He argued that no refugees are “joyful to go away their nations,” however achieve this underneath menace of violence or persecution.

He advocated for “extra resettlement locations” and assist with fundamental wants – like housing – to higher contribute to their new communities.

We nonetheless fear about our family – resettled Iraqi refugee

Struggling Afghans

Based on UNHCR, Afghans make up one of many largest refugee populations globally. 

There are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees all over the world, of whom 2.2 million are registered in Iran and Pakistan alone. And one other 3.5 million are internally displaced.

Greater than half the Afghan inhabitants, or 24 million folks, face acute meals insecurity and 97 per cent are estimated to be dwelling properly beneath the poverty line.

Enchantment to open borders

After listening to these compelling tales, Mr. Guterres appealed to developed nations do extra.

He reminded them of their function in welcoming and giving refugees the prospect to soundly begin over, away from degrading camps or poor housing situations.

The Secretary-Basic recalled that when he headed UNHCR, there have been twice as many resettlement alternatives obtainable for refugees and urged extra States to open their borders to asylum seekers.

Fleeing for security

In 2021, 86 per cent of all resettlement circumstances submitted by UNHCR had been for survivors of torture or violence and other people with authorized and bodily safety wants.

Most had been susceptible ladies and ladies and simply over half involved kids.

Based on the UN, the world reached a dramatic milestone in Might, 10 weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Along with the ladies, kids, and males fleeing battle elsewhere on this planet, the overall variety of forcibly displaced folks has reached 100 million – a grim indictment of our instances,” the UN chief mentioned in his message commemorating World Refugee Day.

“The worldwide refugee inhabitants is at a document excessive,” he continued, noting that the Ukraine warfare has triggered “the biggest and quickest displacement in Europe since World Conflict II”.


A Ukrainian woman who was forced to flee overnight searches online for a job.

Andrii Krepkykh

A Ukrainian lady who was pressured to flee in a single day searches on-line for a job.

Proper to security

The highest UN official urged everybody to mirror on the “braveness and resilience of these fleeing warfare, violence, and persecution” whereas recognizing “the compassion of those that welcome them”.

He upheld that the day affirms a fundamental tenet of our widespread humanity: “Everybody has the best to hunt security – whoever they’re, wherever they arrive from, and at any time when they’re pressured to flee”.

Based on worldwide regulation, the best to hunt asylum is a basic human proper.

“Folks escaping violence or persecution should be capable to cross borders safely… not face discrimination…be unfairly denied refugee standing or asylum as a result of their race, faith, gender, or nation of origin…[or] be pressured to return if their lives or freedom could be in danger,” burdened the UN chief.

“And like each human being, they need to be handled with respect”.

Shared accountability

However security is simply step one. When resettled, refugees have to be given alternatives to heal, be taught, work, thrive, return residence in the event that they select, or rebuild their lives elsewhere, in security and dignity, Mr. Guterres mentioned.

“The world over, refugees have introduced new life, prosperity, and wealthy cultural variety to their host communities” and their safety is “a accountability all of us share”.

He inspired everybody to pledge to do extra for each refugees and the nations that host them.

“Allow us to stand collectively in solidarity… defend the integrity of the worldwide safety regime..and allow us to by no means lose sight of our widespread humanity,” concluded the Secretary-Basic.




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