Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2012
On World Refugee Day, we are reminded of the courage and sacrifices of nearly 15 million refugees and the imperative of protecting civilians caught in conflict. When lives are disrupted by violence, the human cost transcends borders and spans generations. We all pay a price for crises that uproot populations.
The number of new refugees continues to rise, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Conflicts new and old, from Syria to Mali to Sudan, drive ever greater numbers of families to seek new lives far away from home. As we reaffirm our resolve to address the root causes of civil and international violence, we honor humanitarians who assist refugees and extend our gratitude to nations who open their doors. We call on all nations to fulfill their moral duty to protect civilians and facilitate unconditional access to humanitarian relief, so that those who simply seek shelter from violence can live in safety.