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U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees addresses the global refugee crisis

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi joins Washington Post Live on Monday, June 20 (Video: The Washington Post)
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The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that the global refugee numbers are at their highest since records began, with more than 100 million people displaced by war and violence worldwide. On World Refugee Day, join The Washington Post’s David Ignatius for a conversation with Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, about the current solutions available, the impact of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the path forward for the international community.

Click here for transcript

Highlights

“This has been the most severe refugee crisis in Europe since the second World War, so it’s difficult to make comparisons for other crises.” ¬– Filippo Grandi (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The European Union declared that all refugees from Ukraine would benefit from what is called, again a technical name, ‘temporary protection.’… I believe this has allowed the European Union to absorb… millions of people in very few weeks… So how come we have heard for so long that Europe was full?... Are there different standards? I think unfortunately that there are… People who flee the bombs in Mariupol or Severodonetsk are not different from people that flee bombings in Ethiopia, or severe violations of human rights in Myanmar, or very difficult security situations and action by armed groups in Sahel, nearby here. I think the same compassion, the same attention, the same resources must be given to all.” ¬– Filippo Grandi (Video: Washington Post Live)
“This creates a huge precedent if it happens. It hasn’t happened but if it did happen… it would mean that a country with resources as the United Kingdom, with systems and institutions that are able to manage the process of granting asylum, that this country renounces some of these responsibilities and exports them to another country, and by the way a country with less resources and less capacity to do so.” – Filippo Grandi (Video: Washington Post Live)
“It is less than let’s say we feared at one point, but I think this is also due to the fact that in the last few months, and particularly through the last winter, humanitarian organizations were able to set up very substantive response inside Afghanistan… Paradoxically, we have a situation of improved security that allows us to distribute food and other resources… One positive thing that happened last August was the decision in particular by the United Nations and its organizations to continue to engage with the Taliban. This is not recognition, this is engagement on humanitarian grounds. That has allowed us to have them as an interlocutor.” – Filippo Grandi (Video: Washington Post Live)

Filippo Grandi

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees


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