UNHCR / GRANDI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OPENING

04-Oct-2021 00:06:29
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi called for greater international cooperation to solve multiple crises at the opening of the 72nd session of the Executive Committee. UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / GRANDI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OPENING
TRT: 6:29
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 04 OCTOBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a difficult period. One where multiple crises erupt or worsen every day.”
3. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“We see this with COVID-19, which has left no corner of the world untouched, showing, starkly, the interconnectedness of individuals, where the health of someone on the other side of the earth affects mine.”
5. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“We see it in the climate emergency, where our personal choices, our habits as individuals, as communities; where our consumption and production to feed an insatiable appetite for more is destroying the one planet we share.”
7. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“And all of us – and we at UNHCR in particular -- see it in a world where men fight men: and at what cost, in particular to women and children? Any one of us can see that we are heading in the wrong direction. All indicators are telling us to cooperate to prevent it. And yet we seem unable – or unwilling – to step off the paths we are currently on. One million children have been born into exile in the past three years alone and countless others on the other end of life’s journey are denied the simple dignity of dying at home. If these trends are not reversed by robust conflict resolution efforts, I fear the question won’t be “if” we will reach 100 million forcibly displaced; but rather ‘when’.”
9. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“Millions of Afghans have been uprooted for more than 40 years, and recent developments have created new challenges. I visited Afghanistan just last month. You have heard me (and many others in the aid community) say that large-scale, unconditional humanitarian assistance must be mobilized now, immediately. Failure to urgently implement these solutions – and we’re talking of weeks, not much longer – will aggravate the crisis. And though I am always very prudent in making predictions regarding population movements, I believe that such a deterioration will almost inevitably cause large internal and possibly external displacement.”
11. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“If the complex links between development, good governance, climate action and security are not addressed simultaneously, along with increased humanitarian assistance, people in the Central Sahel will continue to suffer the harsh consequences of a growing crisis, including forced displacement. If the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia do not abandon a useless, devastating military confrontation in favour of political negotiations, the humanitarian crisis in Tigray and other regions will spiral out of control.”
13. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“Instead of giving refuge to those fleeing wars caused by no fault of their own, we have – in some parts of the world – seen rejection: in the form of walls and violent pushbacks; in the refusal of powerful countries to rescue people at sea; in increasingly restrictive laws; in more detention, including of children; and in dangerous xenophobic rhetoric.”
15. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“As you know, UNHCR is used to working in crises. Throughout our 70 years, we have been on the frontlines of many emergencies, standing with refugees, the displaced, the stateless. We have always strived to protect and assist them, and find solutions to their plight. It is complicated but not impossible. There are good options on the table. We face terrifying challenges. We sometimes feel powerless and besieged. But we must not lose heart, and take inspiration instead from the courage and resilience which uprooted people continue to show -- think of the refugee athletes who triumphed over every adversity and competed at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games; think of the sacrifices that parents in exile make to give an education to their children; think of the displaced mothers who often risk their lives to protect their babies during flight. They are living examples of why we must not give up. Of why we must address the challenge of forced displacement -- and all other global challenges -- patiently, persistently, systematically: as the UN Charter says, ‘by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods’. None of us can do this alone. But if we work together -- together! -- with courage and humility, and in a true spirit of solidarity, putting the common good before individual and national considerations, then we have a chance to succeed.”
17. Wide shot, plenary at EXCOM
STORYLINE
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi called for greater international cooperation to solve multiple crises at the opening of the 72nd session of the Executive Committee.

In his remarks today (04 Oct) in Geneva, Grandi said, “UNHCR is used to working in crises. Throughout our 70 years, we have been on the frontlines of many emergencies, standing with refugees, the displaced, the stateless. We have always strived to protect and assist them, and find solutions to their plight. It is complicated but not impossible. There are good options on the table.”

He continued, “we must not lose heart, and take inspiration instead from the courage and resilience which uprooted people continue to show -- think of the refugee athletes who triumphed over every adversity and competed at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games; think of the sacrifices that parents in exile make to give an education to their children; think of the displaced mothers who often risk their lives to protect their babies during flight. They are living examples of why we must not give up. Of why we must address the challenge of forced displacement -- and all other global challenges -- patiently, persistently, systematically: as the UN Charter says, ‘by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods’.”

The High Commissioner added, “none of us can do this alone. But if we work together -- together! -- with courage and humility, and in a true spirit of solidarity, putting the common good before individual and national considerations, then we have a chance to succeed.”

On COVID-19 pandemic, Grandi said, “we see this with COVID-19, which has left no corner of the world untouched, showing, starkly, the interconnectedness of individuals, where the health of someone on the other side of the earth affects mine.”

On climate change, he said, “we see it in the climate emergency, where our personal choices, our habits as individuals, as communities; where our consumption and production to feed an insatiable appetite for more is destroying the one planet we share.”

On conflict overall, the High Commissioner said, “ all of us – and we at UNHCR in particular -- see it in a world where men fight men: and at what cost, in particular to women and children?”

He added, “any one of us can see that we are heading in the wrong direction. All indicators are telling us to cooperate to prevent it. And yet we seem unable – or unwilling – to step off the paths we are currently on.”

Grandi continued, “one million children have been born into exile in the past three years alone and countless others on the other end of life’s journey are denied the simple dignity of dying at home. If these trends are not reversed by robust conflict resolution efforts, I fear the question won’t be “if” we will reach 100 million forcibly displaced; but rather ‘when’.”
On Afghanistan, the High Commissioner said, “millions of Afghans have been uprooted for more than 40 years, and recent developments have created new challenges.”

Grandi visited Afghanistan just last month, he said, “you have heard me (and many others in the aid community) say that large-scale, unconditional humanitarian assistance must be mobilized now, immediately. Failure to urgently implement these solutions – and we’re talking of weeks, not much longer – will aggravate the crisis. And though I am always very prudent in making predictions regarding population movements, I believe that such a deterioration will almost inevitably cause large internal and possibly external displacement.”

On Sahel, he said, “If the complex links between development, good governance, climate action and security are not addressed simultaneously, along with increased humanitarian assistance, people in the Central Sahel will continue to suffer the harsh consequences of a growing crisis, including forced displacement.”

“If the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia do not abandon a useless, devastating military confrontation in favour of political negotiations, “ Grandi said, “the humanitarian crisis in Tigray and other regions will spiral out of control.”

The High Commisioner also said, “instead of giving refuge to those fleeing wars caused by no fault of their own, we have – in some parts of the world – seen rejection: in the form of walls and violent pushbacks; in the refusal of powerful countries to rescue people at sea; in increasingly restrictive laws; in more detention, including of children; and in dangerous xenophobic rhetoric.”
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