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Speaker of the House Marios Garoyian Establishes World Refugee Day
2008-06-19 10:40:25

Nicosia, Jun 18 - Armed conflicts, civil wars, extreme violence and the lack of freedom, as well as discrimination and persecution, which characterize today's world order or rather disorder, constitute the most significant factors turning people into refugees, said Speaker of the House Marios Garoyian in his speech at the opening of a photographic exhibition “Protection: what refugees need”, on the occasion of 2008 World Refugee Day at the House of Representatives.

“The 20th of June has been established as the World Day of Refugees and aims to remind us all that tens of millions of people live in uncertainty and agony for what the next day holds for them as refugees or displaced people,” he noted.

''Cyprus is in a very good position to perfectly understand the ordeal of millions of refugees and displaced persons. For 34 years now, thousands of Cypriots have been living with the bitter experience of being uprooted and living as refugees, following their violent expulsion from their homes and properties, due to the Turkish invasion and occupation,'' he said.

Regarding the role of UN High Commission for Refugees, Mr. Garoyian said that its main objective is to ensure respect of human rights and the wellbeing of refugees, make sure that they will not be readmitted without their consent into a country where they will face persecution, provide assistance for their repatriation and promote international agreements on refugees.

''Over the past 55 years, the High Commission has had the privilege and the responsibility of assisting more than 50 million displaced persons worldwide to rebuild their lives,'' he added.

Mr. Garoyian said that the World Day for Refugees constitutes a tribute to the restless spirit, the bravery and courage of all refugees in the world, who are struggling to reassemble the scattered parts of the peaceful life they once had and to keep their hope for a better future alive.

''It is the duty of us all to think of refugees and to give them our encouragement, support and respect,'' he concluded.

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