The World Refugee Day is being observed on Saturday (today) across the globe to remind the world that everyone can contribute to society and every action counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world.
Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world and the world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record and about 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home by conflict and persecution.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his message on this occasion said that the World Refugee Day is a yearly reminder of importance of peace, prevention and resolution of conflicts that are the main reasons for forced displacement of millions of people from their homes. This year, the devastating impact of Covid-19 has compounded the vulnerabilities of those already displaced by violence and conflicts.
FM Qureshi said that over the past forty years, the people of Pakistan have demonstrated exemplary generosity, solidarity and compassion in hosting millions of Afghan refugees.
He said these humane values have shaped Pakistan’s inclusive policies in public health, education, livelihoods and social mobility. He said our Covid-19 response has been inclusive, wherein our health and other services are being utilized by Afghan refugees without any discrimination.
He said Pakistan has led efforts in advocacy, awareness-raising and good practices in caring for and protecting one of the largest protracted refugee populations in the world.
The Foreign Minister said Pakistan hosted an International Afghan Refugee Conference in Islamabad to mark 40 years of Afghan refugees presence in the country and seeking to find durable solutions to the Afghan protracted refugee situation.
He said Pakistan values the commendable work of UNHCR for refugees worldwide and looks forward to positive response to the UNHCR’s appeals for Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.
He said Pakistan renews its call for adherence to the principle of global burden and responsibility sharing, commitment to pursuing durable solutions, and an early peaceful settlement in Afghanistan that paves the way for time bound, gradual, well-resourced and mutually agreed framework for the repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland.