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Joint Statement on World Refugee Day

Delivered by Ambassador Jocelyn Kinnear, 1321st meeting of the Permanent Council, 24 June 2021.

Madam Chairperson,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of Andorra, Iceland, Mongolia, Norway, San Marino, the United Kingdom, and Canada

On June 20th our countries joined the international community in recognizing all those who have been forced to flee their homelands. We acknowledge the profound hardships they have endured, and reaffirm our commitment to protect and support them.

Refugees and other forcibly displaced people face immense loss, barriers, and trauma in their search for a safe place and a new home. These people often suffer hunger, despair and uncertainty in this effort to rebuild their lives. Even when arriving in a new country they might struggle to find a doctor when they are sick, or a school for their children, and ultimately to feel that they belong.

The theme of this year’s World Refugee Day is “Together we heal, learn, and shine”, and we are called on to renew our support for refugees by improving their access to quality health care and education. This year’s theme also reminds us of the importance of inclusion, and ensuring that all people, including refugees from diverse backgrounds, have access to the spaces they need to learn and thrive. We underscore the importance of inclusion and diversity, and of the positive impact that newcomers can have in our societies. When addressing the plight of refugees, we must continue to place emphasis on the needs of women and girls, and to put forward concrete and timely initiatives to promote human rights, gender equality, dignity, and peace and security.

Madam Chairperson,

The OSCE as a regional security organization recognizes the impact that refugees and other forcibly displaced persons have on our comprehensive security. It is incumbent on us, as participating States, to collectively provide international protection and assistance to refugees, and find lasting and dignified solutions for them and other forcibly displaced persons.

Thank you.