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UN Refugee Chief Decries Rise Of Intolerance

UN Refugee Chief Decries Rise Of Intolerance Around The Globe

New York, Nov 10 2005

The rise of intolerance in today's world and the inability of different people to live together threatens peace, the safety of refugees and the social cohesion of societies, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in New York.

Presenting the report of UNHCR to the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural committee of the General Assembly yesterday, António Guterres said his agency faces increasing challenges in confronting rising intolerance as it works to protect refugees, returnees and other displaced persons.

Intolerance, he said, was also making it more difficult to preserve the institution of asylum, especially considering the increasing complexity of population flows, and to solve complex societal problems in an increasingly multi-cultural milieu.

To meet those challenges, the UNHCR needs strong partnerships and a healthy funding base, he argued, calling also for accountability and structural reform at the Geneva-based agency.

Stressing that the fight against intolerance involves all Member States, he said all must stand against irrationality, suspicion and the clamour for exclusion. Rather than bow to public opinion, it was necessary to re-shape it, holding firm to values and principles and reaffirming international responsibility for refugees, he stressed.

ENDS

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