UN Chief António Guterres warned that it could trigger widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organizations we all want to fight against.
By Rakesh Raman
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Tuesday that refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are entitled to protection.
He expressed concern at decisions around the world that have undermined the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.
“Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, according to international refugee law,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement.
The UN chief was referring to an executive order that the new U.S. President Donald Trump had signed last week to suspend resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely and all other refugee resettlement for 120 days.
The Trump order also banned the entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. All seven countries are predominately Muslim countries.
Stating that countries have the right to manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations, Mr. Guterres cautioned that this cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
Defending his executive order Trump said Sunday, “This order is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
Mr. Guterres, however, warned that it could “trigger widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organizations we all want to fight against.”
Mr. Guterres added that “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements.”
At the start of the regular noon-briefing at UN Headquarters, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Mr. Guterres is currently on his way back to New York from the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and he had had the opportunity to express his disagreement with the United States executive order on refugees.
Meanwhile, a Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a stay Saturday, blocking Trump’s discriminatory policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported.
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