Statement by UNRC on World Refugee Day on 20 June 2018


Mr.  Alvaro Rodriguez,

United Nations Resident Coordinator

World Refugees Day Commemortion

20 June 2018,



Assistant Director Legal and Protection, Refugees Service Depart, Ms. Numbilya Mpolo

UNHCR Deputy Representative for Tanzania, Ms. Joan Allison

Excellencies, Ambassadors,  High Commissioners and Members of Diplomatic Corps,

United Nations colleagues,

Members of the Press,

Refugees and former refugees,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Habari za Asubuhi, 


First of all, I would like to commend the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Home Affairs for its continued support to ensure that the refugees in United Republic of Tanzania are in safe hands. Let me also congratulate the UNHCR Tanzania and other UN agencies, for their tireless efforts towards making a difference for the refugees.


On June 20 of every year, we take time to recognize the plight of millions of people living as refugees worldwide to honor their strength, bravery and determination.  It is difficult to understand what it might feel like to flee one’s homeland under the threat of persecution, conflict and violence, leaving behind everyone and everything you have knownfor unknown places and fate.


Allow me to share with you the Secretary General’s official statement for this Day, which reminds us that, War remains the dominant cause of refugees.  Often refugees are received and cared for by countries that have little to spare for themselves.


And I quote:

What would you do if you were forced to leave your home?

Today, more than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution.

That is equivalent to the population of the world’s 20th largest country.

Last year, someone was displaced every two seconds.

Mostly, in poorer countries.

On World Refugee Day, we must all think about what more we can we do to help.


The answer begins with unity and solidarity.


I am deeply concerned to see more and more situations where refugees are not receiving the protection they need and to which they are entitled.


We need to re-establish the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.


In today’s world, no community or country providing safe refuge to people fleeing war or persecution should be alone and unsupported.


We stand together, or we fail. 

This year, a Global Compact on Refugees will be presented to the UN General Assembly.

It offers a way forward and recognizes the contributions that refugees make to the societies hosting them.

As long as there are wars and persecution, there will be refugees. 

On World Refugee Day, I ask you to remember them.

Their story is one of resilience, perseverance and courage. 

Ours must be of solidarity, compassion and action.

Thank you.