UN Observance: World Refugee Day – June 20

A ray of light for refugees in Jordan

“I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need” stated UN Secretary-General, António Guterres while calling on Member States to take action for refugees.

In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees. On World Refugee Day, the global community gathers to show support to victims of war and climate change that have no other choice than leaving their home. This day aims to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of people and families, but also to raise awareness on the terrible living conditions they have.Final Phase Digital The United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention is the only global legal instrument explicitly covering the most important aspects of a refugee’s life. it provides that refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country and, in many cases, the same treatment as nationals.

Nevertheless, the definition of refugees found in the convention doesn’t include climate refugees, while their number has been booming in the past years. Therefore, it is fundamental to integrate the refugees’ issues to the global challenge of achieving sustainable development. In this regard, some initiatives show that we can respond to the refugee crisis while fostering innovation and sustainability.

Final Phase DigitalIn Jordan, a refugee camp will soon lead the shift towards sustainable development as it is to become the world’s first solar-powered refugee camp. Thanks to a public private partnership, solar power is expected to meet the needs of 35,000 refugees. Beyond the sustainable assets of this project, encouraging energy transition in Jordan, this is also a step forward towards better living conditions for refugees. Too often, access to electricity isn’t a reality in refugee camps.

What can you do to stand with refugees? First, you can sign the #Withrefugees petition, launched in June 2016 by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and call on governments to work together to ensure humans rights are respected. You can also join an event around you or spread the word on social media with the hashtag #WithRefugees.

To learn more about World Refugee Day, please visit: http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/us/

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