World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iraq Could Overshadow Afghan Refugee Needs: UN

Attention On Iraq Could Overshadow Afghan Refugee Needs, Un Official Warns

The world's preoccupation with Iraq could take much-needed attention away from Afghanistan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, warned today, urging the international community to continue helping Afghans to return to their shattered country.

The High Commissioner, who left this morning for Kabul to begin a 10-day mission to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, said Afghanistan must remain a priority and that ensuring sustainable returns of refugees and the displaced would contribute to long-term stability in the region and the world.

"I think to resist security risks and maybe.terrorism in the future, we better go for sustainable returns in Afghanistan and make that a real success. This should be the priority today," Mr. Lubbers said.

More than 2 million people have gone back to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, primarily from Pakistan. Another 1.2 million are expected to go back this year from neighbouring countries, according to an update by the UN refugee agency.

While in the Afghan capital, the High Commissioner is scheduled to meet with top-ranking Afghan and UN officials. Mr. Lubbers will also visit Nahrin district in Balkh Province to see the conditions of returnees and review shelter projects. Successive earthquakes hit Nahrin in late 2001 and March 2002, levelling many houses and collapsing irrigation systems.

From there Mr. Lubbers will travel to Islamabad, where he is scheduled to meet with Pakistani President Musharraf and visit settlements for Afghan refugees getting ready to head home as this year's repatriation season gets underway.

During the Iranian leg of the trip, Mr. Lubbers is scheduled to meet President Khatami and several senior ministers in Tehran. He also plans to visit Ahwaz, in southwestern Iran, where he will meet provincial authorities and officials from the Iranian Red Crescent Society who are involved in assisting Iraqi refugees in Iran. Iran shelters 202,000 Iraqi refugees - more than half the total number of recognized Iraqi asylum seekers in the world.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news