UN urges US to continue 'long tradition' of welcoming refugees

(iStock)
(iStock)

Geneva - The United Nations on Saturday urged US President Donald Trump to continue his country's "long tradition" of welcoming refugees and to ensure their equal treatment, regardless of race, nationality or religion.

The appeal came in a joint statement from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration in reaction to Trump's sweeping new executive order on Friday suspending refugee arrivals and imposing tough controls for travellers from seven Muslim countries.

The agencies, which offer frontline assistance to millions of would-be migrants and asylum seekers, hailed the US resettlement programme as "one of the most important in the world.

"The longstanding policy has offered a double win: first by rescuing some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and second by enabling them to enrich their new societies. The contribution of refugees and migrants to their new homes worldwide has been overwhelmingly positive."

The IOM and the UNHCR "hope that the US will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution", the statement said.

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

Trump's decree suspends the entire US refugee resettlement program for at least 120 days while tough new vetting rules are established to confirm asylum seekers do not pose a security threat.

In addition, it specifically bars Syrian refugees from the United States indefinitely, or until the president himself decides that they no longer pose a threat.

And it slaps 90-day bans on the issuance of visas for migrants and visitors from seven mainly-Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 957 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1799 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9908 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.12
(+0.36)
ZAR/GBP
20.24
(+0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.02
(+0.24)
ZAR/AUD
11.14
(+0.40)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.35)
Gold
1806.39
(-0.14)
Silver
23.32
(+0.29)
Platinum
965.00
(+0.83)
Brent Crude
47.84
(+3.78)
Palladium
2323.00
(-0.13)
All Share
57742.19
(-0.03)
Top 40
52940.79
(-0.20)
Financial 15
11641.10
(-0.29)
Industrial 25
79835.50
(-0.36)
Resource 10
52605.42
(+0.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo