UN chief calls for “open hearts” for refugees

UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (PNA/Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called on the international community to recall common humanity and open hearts to refugees in the world.

Ban made the appeal on the occasion to commemorate World Refugee Day, which fell on Saturday.

Ban noted the ongoing conflict in Syria, as well as crises in Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, Central African Republic, northeastern Nigeria and parts of Pakistan, have led to a staggering growth and acceleration of global forced displacement.

According to UN statistics, last year, 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced every single day — a rate that has quadrupled in only four years. And the number of refugees who were able to return home last year was the lowest in more than three decades.

“At times like these, it is essential that governments and societies around the world recommit to providing refuge and safety to those who have lost everything to conflict or persecution,” said Ban.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Dec. 4, 2000, designating June 20 each year as World Refugee Day.