Speeches of António Guterres as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Introductory Remarks on “Refugees, Migration and Human Resources”

I am very pleased to introduce this very timely topic. Refugees, migration, and human resources are issues immediately relevant to the Afghanistan-Pakistan situations but to the broader challenges of the management of population movements. The key issue I believe is how to resolve the tension between the sovereign rights of states and the need of individuals to seek safety and livelihoods when confronted by war, economic deprivation and hunger.

Durban Review Conference on Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance

Racism and xenophobia diminish us all. But the discrimination and intolerance to which they give rise, do not affect us equally. People without nationalities and without states to protect them suffer disproportionately. With our mandate for these people, UNHCR has a special interest in and commitment to reducing racism and xenophobia.

Security Council briefing on refugee issues

Je voudrais tout d'abord exprimer ma gratitude pour cette opportunité de m'addresser au Conseil de Sécurité. Monsieur le Président, à titre personnel, permettez-moi de vous féliciter à l'occasion de votre prise de fonction de la Présidence du Conseil en ce début d'année. L'excellente coopération qui existe entre la France et le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés est solide, et elle s'est révélée particulièrement fructueuse pendant la récente présidence Française de l'Union Européenne.

High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges: Protracted Refugee Situations

Let me begin by extending my sincere thanks to you for participating in the second Dialogue on Protection Challenges. The inaugural Dialogue focused on refugee protection and international migration. There will be a side event tomorrow to look in more detail into its impact, which for UNHCR included the re-examination and additional resourcing of several key operations.

Keynote address on the 10th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

It is an honour to be here commemorating ten years of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. I would like to thank the Norwegian Government, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Representative of the Secretary General for the Human Rights of Internally Displaced People for having organized this landmark event. The presence of so many of you – Government officials, colleagues from the United Nations system, from the ICRC, the NGO movement, international organizations of different natures, as well as academic experts, is a testimony both of our common engagement with the internally displaced, and about the centrality of the Guiding Principles. I am delighted to be associated with this event since protecting and assisting internally displaced persons became one of the key priorities of UNHCR.

Opening remarks to the 59th session of the Executive Committee

Welcome to Geneva. At the end of our meeting last year, I made a number of commitments to you. Today I would like to report on the progress we have made in those areas. Before doing so, however, allow me to make some observations about the global context of our work.

Remarks at the Ministerial Conference “Building a Europe of Asylum”

Allow me to thank the French Presidency of the European Union for convening this important Conference on asylum. It is an honour to address you on this subject not only as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but also as a citizen of the European Union. "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."

Statement on Poverty Reduction and Development, Progressive Governance Conference

Some of you may be asking why the UN High Commissioner for Refugees should be making a statement on the issue of poverty reduction and development – an issue that falls well beyond the mandate of UNHCR. Let me try to explain.

High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges: Refugee Protection, Durable Solutions, and International Migration

Let me begin by offering a warm welcome to all of you. It gives me great satisfaction to see so many states, international organizations, NGOs and experts gathered here today for our first Dialogue on Protection Challenges.

Opening remarks to the 58th session of the Executive Committee

Welcome to Geneva. It will be a great pleasure for me to work with you this week. The present century is a time of human displacement. With each economic opportunity and departing vessel, every calamity and conflict, the 21st century is being marked by people on the move.

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