Geneva, February 2: UN secretary -General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday firstly condemned the decision made by US government in order to suspend its longstanding refugee programme. Reacting to Trump’s decision, Guterres while talking to reporters said that Trump’s policy is not the way to best protect the US or any other country and urged the US to remove it sooner.
“In my opinion, this is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exist about possibilities of terrorist infiltration. I don’t think this is the effective way to do so. These measures should be removed sooner rather than later,” Guterres told reporters here, responding to questions on the travel and refugee ban imposed by the US.
Guterres also called for lifting a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying such measures spread “anxiety and anger” and will not prevent terrorists from entering the US. Guterres also cautioned the US and said that the banning of people and refugees from entering other nations will not ensure that terrorists will not infiltrate as the extremist groups could circumvent measures and look at other ways to target nations and their citizens.
The international community is dealing with “very sophisticated global terrorist originations”, he said, adding that if terror groups want to attack any country they will not send people with passports from “hotspots of conflict”. Guterres further added, “They might come with passports from the most developed, credible countries or use people that have been for decades present in the country itself.”
On the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees entering the US, Guterres said resettlement of refugees is in many situations the only possible solution. “The US has always been at the forefront of refugee settlement and Syrians at the present moment have more dramatic needs in the world. I strongly hope that the US will be able to reassess its very solid refugee protection in resettlement and I hope Syrians will not be excluded in that process,” Guterres said.
Notably, Trump’s controversial executive order, signed on Friday, halted the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banned Syrian refugees, and suspended all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia.