United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres made it clear on Wednesday that the US travel ban imposed on refugees and immigrants from seven Middle East and North African countries. As per the executive order signed by President Donald Trump, refugees from all over the world will be prohibited from entering America for 120 days along with cancelling immigration for 90 from any country which poses a threat to America’s security. The countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Antonio Guterres says it “is not the way to best protect the US or any other country,” expressing hopes that “this measure should be removed sooner rather than later”. The secretary-general made the remarks in response to a question as he was briefing reporters here on his travel to Ethiopia, where he attended an African Union summit, as per Indian Express reported.
In the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday, Guterres advised African countries to open their doors for the refugees, escaping violence while other parts of the world, including the developed West, close their boundaries.
“In my opinion, this is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that existed about the possibility of terrorist infiltration,” he said. “I don’t think this is the effective way to do so.”
“What was lacking was a capacity to have a comprehensive approach to the problem,” he said of the US ban, adding that it is very important to review “the very dramatic situations the refugees are facing when they have no chance to reach protection.”
“And I think this measure should be removed sooner, rather than later,” the UN chief said.
On Tuesday, the secretary-general issued a statement via his spokesman, saying that refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are entitled to protection, expressing his concerns about the world turning their backs towards the victim of violence which in turn is affecting 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,” the statement said.