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UN chief concerned about misplaced suspicions on migrants, refugees

21 November 2015, 10:13

United Nations - In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon says he is deeply concerned about misplaced suspicions on migrants and refugees, especially those who are Muslims.

He said on Friday in New York while speaking at the General Assembly meeting on Global Awareness of the Tragedies of Irregular Migrants in the Mediterranean Basin with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers.

"We must be on guard against such distortions and discrimination, which only play into the hands of terrorists trying to sow divisions and fear.

"We must respond not by closing doors but by opening our hearts with unity, tolerance, and pluralism and compassion as it will foster true security.

"The rights to asylum and non-refoulement must be upheld, any fears about terrorists hiding among refugees only support the argument for a managed approach," he told the 193 member assembly.

 Also read: France decries use of Nigeria children in suicide attacks.

The UN Chief said that millions of refugees, who had lost everything to violence and oppression, wanted to end those threats more than anyone and could potentially be a major constituency in combating violent extremism.

The UN Chief applauded Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and all first asylum countries having generously supported millions of desperate people.

"We need a new approach to manage the challenges of global mobility, built on equitable responsibility sharing.

"We are doing everything possible to address the conflict in Syria and at the same time, we are working to prevent, mediate and resolve violence and tensions in the region and beyond,’’ he said.

The UN Chief also said it was time to break the silence surrounding poor governance, growing inequalities and human rights violations, including the oppression of women.

Ban said that on the 4th February 2016, he would be in London to co-host with the governments of United Kingdom, Norway, Kuwait and Germany, a conference on the Syrian humanitarian crisis.

"Our goal is to raise significant new funding for all those affected within the country while supporting Syria’s neighbours.

"The London Conference will also seek ways to create jobs and provide education to foster hope," he added.



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