29 May 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard
  • Our picture below shows Bernie Bradley of Monaghan Co Council presenting the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon, with a report on the initiative undertaken in Co Monaghan to cater for a number of refugees from DR Congo.

The presentation took place at an event on refugee resettlement held at Farmleigh House in Dublin on Monday last.

The UN Secretary-General told those in attendance that the world should not forget the common values and principles of humanity, solidarity and respect for human rights when responding to the global refugee crisis.

Recalling his own experience during the Korean War, the Secretary-General said that initiatives such as Ireland’s refugee resettlement programme were an important means of giving people forced to flee their homes a new chance in life.

“One of my earliest memories is fleeing with my family into the hills surrounding my village. As we climbed in the rain, I looked back on the only world I knew: where I had played, where I had gone to school, where I had lived with my family; all of it was in flames. Our lives went up in smoke.

“Despite the hardships, despite the darkness, I came through it. Today, I carry a simple message: The world is with you, and I am with you.”

Expressing Ireland’s commitment to responding to the global refugee crisis, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD said it was important that Ireland continued its support for the resettlement programme. Since 1998, Ireland was one of a handful of countries that took an annual quota of refugees in partnership with the UNHCR, Minister Fitzgerald pointed out.

“Life in Ireland is difficult for many people and we must acknowledge that,” the Minister stated. “But we must also acknowledge that refugees who flee war, conflict, oppression and resulting poverty need to be given the opportunity to start a new life.”

The Minister praised the integration staff of Monaghan Co Council and of other local authorities, stating that: “We need these local champions to play their part, and they have.”

Refugees from Myanmar, Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan and members of the Syrian community in Ireland attended Monday’s event.

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