first_img71st UN General AssemblyGuyana stands ready to play an active role in the process of eliminating the root causes of international conflict to ensure an end to refugee and migrant crises so that world peace will prevail.Venezuelans who were recently deported from GuyanaPresident David Granger made this pledge at the high-level meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.“Guyana supports the protection of the rights of all migrants. Guyana welcomes the process that this meeting will initiate for the convening, in 2018, of an inter-governmental conference on international migration with a view to the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” he declared before the gathering of world leaders.In recent months, Guyana began experiencing a fraction of the world’s refugee crisis after a large number of Venezuelans fled their country to seek refuge locally.They were subsequently fined and deported when they appeared before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Commenting on this development, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had underscored Government’s commitment to provide assistance to the Venezuelans who are experiencing an economic crisis, once they comply with the country’s laws.“We have made it clear that on humanitarian grounds, that we will not turn back Venezuelans who come to seek help here in Guyana… so anybody coming from Venezuela for food and things like that, we support people who come to Guyana on those grounds,” the Minister noted.However, he outlined, “We, of course, have our responsibility to ensure the integrity of our borders and that the immigration procedures which are applied to persons coming to Guyana that we will apply those procedures.”Asked whether Government would consider relaxing restrictions on Venezuelans entering the country illegally, Harmon had shut down the idea and reiterated that Guyana’s laws must be adhered to at all times.International CommunityThe chronic and complex refugee and migrant crises confronting the world represent grave challenges to the international community, President Granger emphasised in his speech.“Images and accounts of men, women and children, who are forced to flee their homes and homelands in search of safety, are transmitted daily and graphically by the mass and social media. The international community can no longer ignore the plight of these desperate refugees and migrants,” the Guyanese Head of State stated.He noted that their condition and situation demand a commitment to address both the root causes, as well as the human consequences which accompany the refugee and migration crises.President Granger highlighted that conflicts within and among nations are mainly responsible for the mass movements of refugees and migrants, and if left unattended, can unravel into a series of greater problems.“Refugees and migrants, however, are not the only ones affected. Conflicts between states, if left unattended or unresolved, can escalate into regional and even global crises, which can threaten the existence of larger numbers of persons in wider areas, even beyond their country’s borders,” he stated.The President noted that conflict prevention and resolution must be part of the long-term response to the crisis of refugees and migrants.“The international community has a responsibility to prevent these conflicts and to usher in an era of security and of the preservation of peace between states,” he stated.The Guyanese leader also underlined that natural disasters contribute to the refugee and migrant problem.“The global community must not ignore the impact which catastrophic natural disasters, including those caused by climate change, has had in triggering which produces refugees and migrants,” the President stated, referring to the situation in Haiti.“Six years ago, we were overwhelmed by the death, disease, dislocation and destruction inflicted on the Caribbean state of Haiti, a sister member of our Community. The earthquake left thousands of persons dead and consigned thousands of others to a life as refugees in their own country. Haiti’s agony is being compounded today by the creation of new waves of refugees from the Dominican Republic,” he noted.DeclarationWorld leaders came together at the UN General Assembly to adopt the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which expresses their political will to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched a new campaign called, “Together – Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” to “respond to rising xenophobia and turn fear into hope”.He urged “world leaders to join this campaign and commit together to upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life.”Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General in his address to the summit, declared that “refugees and migrants are not to be seen as a burden – they offer great potential, if only we unlock it.”last_img

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