“We are witnesses to the greatest global mobilization of refugees, who often put their lives and their relatives’ lives in danger, leaving their loved ones behind, because of war, economic poverty or the lack of respect for human rights,” Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie stated as he presided over the commemoration of World Refugee Day held this afternoon in the Libertador Room at the Palacio San Martín.
“We have seen terrible images over the past few years, the horrors of exclusion, and we cannot let this happen,” the Foreign Minister stated during the event, which was attended by the regional representative of UNHCR, Michele Manca Di Nissa, the regional representative of the International Organization for Migration, Diego Beltrand, and the European Union representative to Argentina, Aude Maio-Coliche.
During the event, jointly organized by the Foreign Ministry and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the European Union presented a project to be implemented by the IOM and the UNHCR with the aim of supporting the efforts to integrate refugees in Argentina.
In the presence of the diplomatic corps accredited to Argentina, national authorities, members of the National Commission for Refugees and international organizations and representatives of civil society gathered in the Libertador Room of the Palacio San Martín, Faurie made reference to Argentina's welcoming spirit towards people coming to our country and reviewed the actions that are being carried out so as to provide a concrete response to the global displacement crisis.
The Argentine Foreign Minister stated that "Latin America now faces the challenge of receiving migrants coming from a sister nation with which we share strong historic ties," adding that "over 2 million Venezuelans have settled throughout all the countries in the region."
"But this is not the only challenge -Faurie continued during the World Refugee Day commemoration, which takes place every 20 June-. We are far from Syria in terms of geography, but here we have many Syrian people that came to live in Argentina at different times in our history and integrated. The Syrian community is one of the most important communities here. This is why it was only natural for Argentina to offer help to Syrian immigrants and establish the Syria Plan. No one obtains benefits when they have to leave their land and family, but the least we can do is try to help them so that they can integrate, which is what we do with Venezuelans: we welcome them with open arms, because we, the Argentine people, owe a lot to Venezuelans, as they received us during our hard times."
Before Faurie delivered his speech, Okba Aziza, a Syrian refugee, had told his story about the decision to leave his country because of persecution and how he integrated into the Argentine Republic.
Finally, the Foreign Minister recalled Pope Francis's words when he urged us to "be close to refugees, meet with them and value their contribution so that they can better integrate into the communities that receive them."
26 June 2018