World Refugee Day: UN chief calls for global solidarity

On World Refugee Day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres emphasized the urgent need for global solidarity to support refugees, stressing the importance of security and the ability to rebuild their lives with dignity.

The theme for 2024 is “For a World Where Refugees Are Welcomed.”

“Refugees need our solidarity now more than ever. Solidarity means keeping our doors open, celebrating their strengths and achievements, and reflecting on the challenges they face,” Guterres said.

He added that solidarity with those forced to flee also involves finding solutions to their plight, such as ending conflicts so they can safely return home, ensuring they have opportunities to thrive in their host communities, and providing countries with the resources needed to include and support refugees.

“On World Refugee Day, let’s reaffirm the world’s collective responsibility in assisting and welcoming refugees, upholding their human rights—including the right to seek asylum—and ultimately resolving conflicts so that those forced from their communities can return home,” Guterres urged.

In a post on X, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reported that more than half a million people have been forced to return from Pakistan to Afghanistan since October last year. The UN agency noted that some of these individuals are now being displaced again due to the worsening climate crisis in the country.

Afghanistan remains one of the countries with the highest number of refugees globally.