UN agencies express hope US will continue tradition of protecting refugees

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Two Syrian refugees, a brother and sister, in Jordan. Photo: UNICEF/Lucy Lyon

Two UN agencies are expressing hope that the United States will continue its long tradition of protecting people fleeing conflict and persecution.

The statement released on Saturday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), follows US President Donald Trump’s signing of an Executive Order which suspends the country's refugee programme for four months, among other measures.

Dianne Penn reports.

The agencies pointed out that the needs of refugees have never been greater, adding that the US's resettlement programme is one of the most important in the world.

It has created a "win-win situation," they said, saving the lives of vulnerable people who have in turn "enriched and strengthened" the societies in which they have settled.

They expressed hope that the country will continue what they described as "its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution."

They also underlined their commitment to working with the US authorities on the common goal of ensuring safe and secure resettlement and immigration programmes. 

"We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race," they stated.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 54″



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