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ADC Joins UNHCR in Marking World Refugee Day

posted on: Jun 21, 2008

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The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joins the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the global human rights community in marking world refugee day.

Numerous events across the globe have and will take place to mark this day, June 20. Learn more about World Refugee Day at:
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/WRD

ADC Communications Director Laila Al-Qatami said, “The UNHCR offers many of these refugees hope for
their future and ADC joins the UNHCR in commemo- rating World Refugee day and thanks them for their vital humanitarian work. Sadly, there are more than 32 million people living as refugees around the world. Of those 32 million refugees, more than 4.5 million are Iraqis and the number of Iraqi refugees continues to grow at a shocking rate of an estimated 50,000 refugees per month.”

Al-Qatami added, “It should also be noted that while the world and the UNHCR remember World Refugee Day, there are more than 5 million Palestinian refugees who remain blocked from returning to their homes and homeland.” The plight of Palestinian refugees, ongoing since 1948, is addressed through a separate UN agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). UNRWA works to provide relief, education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to all Palestinians refugees who are registered with UNRWA.

The United Nations established UNRWA in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel on historic Palestine. UNRWA was formed under UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV), of 8 December, 1949, as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations. UNRWA’s mandate has been renewed every three years since 1949, and is expected to continue to be renewed pending a just settlement to the Palestinian refugee problem. Learn more at: http://www.un.org/unrwa/overview/qa.html

The UNHCR was established on December 14, 1950, by the United Nations General Assembly and its mandate is to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. The UNHCR works to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees and it also strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. In more than five decades, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people restart their lives.