Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

© UNICEF_Joe English Farhia Mousa sits with three of her six children, including Nacima, 10-days-old, Abdulahi, 4-years-old, and Nasterha, 2-years-old, in a camp for people displaced by conflict and drought in Dangaroyo, Somalia. (22 May 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The international community must not take the generosity of Africans for granted, UN refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, told an informal meeting of Security Council members at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday.

Speaking via video-link from Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, described Africa as a “humanitarian theatre”, referring to the recently published Global Trends report from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), which shows a significant increase in the number of people in Africa forced to feel their homes.

At the same time, he said, Africa is a “humanitarian leader”, and a positive example for other parts of the world, with many nations on the continent championing progressive policies towards refugees: “Unlike in other regions, including regions where countries have more resources and more means to respond, borders tend to stay open to refugee flows.”

Security Council must ‘redouble efforts’ to find political solutions

Referring to the role of the Security Council in tackling the challenges associated with refugees, migration and displacement, Mr. Grandi called on States to redouble political efforts to find solutions, because, he said, where they are successful — as in the relatively rare case of Cote d’Ivoire —refugees and displaced people do return home.

The UN refugee chief wrapped up his briefing with a tribute to the solidarity shown by Africans towards those forced to flee their homes, pointing out that, unlike in other parts of the world, such solidarity is not a subject of political debate: “We owe it to millions of ordinary Africans in villages, towns, and cities who, out of a sense of duty, cultural tradition, or their own values, keep their doors open, and share often scarce resources”.

Bience Gawanas, Special Adviser on Africa to the Secretary-General, also addressed the meeting, echoed Mr. Grandi’s recognition of African solidarity to displaced people. She declared that the Security Council has a responsibility to find coherent solutions to displacement, as opposed to “siloed” approaches to peace, humanitarian affairs and development that are neither effective, nor durable.

Ms. Gawanas said the best way to deal with displacement, is to deal with the root causes, so that people do not need to leave home in the first place. The international community, she continued, must listen to young people who do not simply want stability, but better prospects and hope for the future.

She said it was critical that the Council and international community overall, continue to support host countries, both financially, and by removing barriers that prevent refugees from working, or from fully integrating within host communities.

The informal meeting, entitled “Responding effectively to the needs of refugees, displaced persons and returnees: the role of the UN Security Council and its members”, was organised by the three African members of the Security Council—Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa—in conjunction with the African Union Permanent Observer Mission to the UN.

Its aim was to find ways to improve the situation of refugees, displaced persons and returnees; discuss the role of the Security Council in implementing the Global Compact on Refugees – which provides guidance on how to meet the needs of refugees and host communities – and discuss how the partnership between the African Union and the UN can positively impacting refugees and internally displaced people.

The meeting took place amidst significant international efforts to address the global refugee crisis. More than 70 million people currently have had to leave their homes (the highest number ever recorded), including 25.9 million refugees, 41.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and 3.5 million asylum seekers, according to UNHCR.

The meeting also marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the AU Convention for the Protection and Assistance for Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.                    

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

4 ways industry can make supply chains more sustainable

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Promoting ‘a healthy sustainable future’, the UN health agency engages young and young at heart to ‘Walk the Talk’

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

The why in including palliative care in Universal Health Care

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

The fight for female medical leadership

Myanmar doing too little to ensure displaced Rohingya return: UN refugee agency chief

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

State aid: Commission approves €200 million Danish loan in support of the Travel Guarantee Fund for travel cancellations due to coronavirus outbreak

MEPs question whether the new Migration Pact will bring about real change

The secret of productivity growth is not technology

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

Transposing gender inequalities: the expenditure of achievements

The EU Parliament and the ECB unknowingly or unwillingly fail to protect our financial assets

34 million Americans know someone who died after being unable to pay for medical treatment

Here’s how we can use agriculture to fight climate change

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

5 key lessons for energy transition from COVID-19 recovery

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

Brexit: the Withdrawal Agreement passes the first European Parliament test

Second Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearing: impact on privacy, voting and trust

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

This is where people work the longest – and shortest – hours

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

How Kolkata is tackling its air pollution with public transportation

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

How the North Korea-U.S. detente is a leveling of the playing field

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

The Internet of Bodies is here. This is how it could change our lives.

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Secretary-General calls for global participation in UN75 dialogues for better future for all

This company is using plants to make handbags, shoes and clothes

How a more integrated approach could help to end energy poverty

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

These are the ‘positive’ tipping points that could slow global warming

Researchers have invented a brick that can build itself

WHO supports measles campaign targeting millions of children in northern Nigeria

The European brain drain and the deteriorating medical workforce

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Social media and the lack of information for blood donation

Quashing myths on 2019-nCoV for better public management

Angola’s President João Lourenço calls for stronger EU-Africa cooperation

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

Coronavirus: Commission proposes additional safeguards on travel from outside the EU and updated criteria for applying travel restrictions

Monday’s Daily Brief: UN chief talks climate action at G7, WFP official visits camp in Central African Republic, Deadly violence at Lesvos migrant centre, Security Council meets on AU-UN Darfur mission

Eco-anxiety during the Pandemic

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Lessons in disaster relief from the world’s most cyclone-battered state

Do you dare to go to China?

EU prepares itself to fight back against hostile propaganda

Can climate change wait for the US to rejoin the Paris agreement?

Mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks do in a century

Why business can no longer turn a blind eye to poor vision

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: “Am I a real Boy?”

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s