December 4, 2016 8:42:41 pm
Concerned over the spike in Afghan refugee returns and “challenges” due to the sudden influx to re-integration programmes, nations including India taking part in Heart of Asia summit on Sunday asked the global community to provide generous support and targeted assistance to them while lauding Pakistan and Iran for hosting millions for decades. The nations asked the global community to support the Afghan returnees in the region, with emphasis on youth, education and livelihoods while terming tripartite commissions on voluntary repatriation under a UN programme, mandated to protect and support refugees as “vital” steps in the solution strategy.
Watch what else is making news:
“We commend countries in the region and beyond, particularly Iran and Pakistan, for their hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over three decades. We call on all these countries to continue hosting the Afghan refugees until their sustainable repatriation and reintegration in Afghanistan can take place in a voluntary, safe, gradual and dignified fashion, in accordance with the solutions strategy for Afghan refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host communities,” the Amritsar Declaration at the 6th Ministerial Conference of HOA said.
The nations in the declaration welcomed the Afghanistan-Pakistan-UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)) and Afghanistan-Iran-UNHCR Tripartite Commissions on voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan, as vital steps in the “Solutions Strategy”.
“We are concerned by the recent spike of Afghan refugee returns and the challenges that this sudden influx presents for returnee re-integration programmes. We therefore urge the international community to provide generous support and targeted assistance for Afghan refugees, returnees and host communities in the region, with emphasis on youth, education and livelihoods,” the declaration said.
The nations also supported the final statement of the UNHCR Executive Committee High Level Segment refocusing the international community’s attention on the Afghan refugee situation in this “critical” period, the declaration said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the annual Ministerial conference in Amritsar along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani which is being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz along with representatives of around 30 countries.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.