WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The United Nations agencies dealing with global refugee and migration issues today expressed the hope that the United States will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.
'The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater, and the US resettlement programme is one of the most important in the world,' says a joint statement from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The agencies note that the longstanding US policy of welcoming refugees has created a 'win-win' situation: it has saved the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world who have in turn enriched and strengthened their new societies.
The statement from the agencies follows the U.S. President Donald Trump's signing Friday of an Executive Order that, among things, reportedly suspends the US refugee programme for 120 days and, bars entry of refugees from Syria, until further notice.
UNHCR and the IOM go on to express the strong belief that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.
'We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the US Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters,' the statement concludes.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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