An “international dialogue” opened this week in Geneva, Switzerland where the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had some profound things to say about the plight of refugees.
GENEVA, December 10 (UNHCR) – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on Wednesday opened a two-day international dialogue aimed at seeking solutions for millions of people caught up in the limbo of so-called “protracted refugee situations” in which they spend years in exile with no end in sight.
Guterres told some 300 representatives of more than 50 governments and governmental and non-governmental organizations in Geneva’s Palais des Nations that the world must do more to resolve the seemingly endless plight of nearly 6 million refugees who have spent years, and sometimes decades, in exile. Worldwide, UNHCR counts at least 30 such long-term refugee situations that have lasted five years or more, excluding Palestinians.
Check out the Palais des Nations here. Can’t you just see the 300, many in native garb with wine glasses in manicured hand before a sumptuous meal discussing ‘what to do,’ ‘what to do.’
Describing the problem as one of “enormous proportions,” Guterres said many long-term refugees are effectively trapped. They cannot go home because their countries of origin are at war or are affected by serious human rights violations. Only a relatively small proportion have a chance of being resettled in third countries, and in many cases their first asylum country will not allow them to fully integrate or become citizens…
There is nothing new here, nothing profound. I am sorry to say, there are no large governmental answers, only little personal answers.
To each of you losing sleep, find your own way to help someone, either close to home or abroad.
Changing the subject (a little), did you see Bill Ayers on with Chris Matthews last night? As he moaned about the terrible suffering of the Vietnamese people, supposedly at our hands in the late ’60’s, I wondered what he ever personally did to help anyone in Vietnam. I also wondered if he has seen the poverty in present-day Communist Vietnam—the Communist country he helped create.