TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Addressing a meeting of UN Security Council on Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is now approaching 66 million, up from 42 million in 2009.
Grandi said that the swelling number of forcibly displaced people “reflects weaknesses in international cooperation, and declining capacity to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts.”
“Have we become unable to broker peace?” Grandi asked the 15-member body, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security.
The UN official also said that the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq account for about a quarter of those currently displaced, adding that a “combinations of poverty and underdevelopment, environmental degradation, inequality and persecution” would trigger more crises.
Grandi further called on the international community to find political solutions to the ongoing conflicts in the world.
“Securing solutions for the millions of people uprooted around the world, and avoiding a repeat of the massive outflows that have taken place over recent years, ultimately rests on political solutions,” he said.
The UN official pointed to the plight of Rohingya Muslim refugees, who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, describing the crisis as a “human tragedy on a dramatic scale.”
Myanmar’s government brands more than one million Rohingya Muslims in the country as “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh, and has launched a deadly and brutal crackdown on the minority group. Rohingya Muslims, however, have had roots in the country that go back centuries. They are considered by the UN the “most persecuted minority group in the world.”
Since August 25, the Myanmar military has significantly stepped up its clampdown on the persecuted Muslim community, mainly based in the country’s western Rakhine State, following a series of attacks on army and police checkpoints there.
The UN official also said that the UN’s peace-keeping missions should draw on their diverse strengths to help protect civilians affected by conflict, while at the same time preserving the neutral, impartial character of humanitarian action, he said.
“A full response to today's massive displacement flows can only be achieved through action to restore security, resolve conflict and build peace,” he concluded.