World Refugee Day speech calls for world to stand together (Podcast)

The world must stand together with the millions of men, women and children who flee their homes each year to ensure their rights and dignity are protected.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the call on World Refugee Day observed annually on 20 June.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with refugees at the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

Forced displacement has reached unprecedented levels with more than 65 million people uprooted from their homes globally.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

New and recurring conflicts as well as violence and persecution are forcing people out of their homes and even across international borders, according to the UN chief.

In 2015, more than 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean in dinghies and flimsy boats.


Meanwhile, divisive political rhetoric on asylum and migration issues, rising xenophobia and restrictions on access to asylum have become increasingly visible in some regions, Ban Ki-moon warned.

He also expressed concern over the increase in the use of detention and in the construction of fences and other barriers.

Anti-refugee rhetoric has become so loud, he said, it has been difficult to hear the voices of welcome.

Mr Ban praised the countries as well as the ordinary people and communities that have opened their homes and hearts to refugees.

There is an urgent need to build on and amplify these positive examples, he added.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 58″