Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here Wednesday that the U.S. travel ban imposed on refugees and immigrants from seven countries “is not the way to best protect the U.S. or any other country,” voicing his hope that “this measure should be removed sooner, rather than later.”

Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres

The secretary-general made the remarks in response to a press question as he was briefing reporters here on his travel to Ethiopia, where he attended an African Union summit. In the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday, Guterres commended African countries for opening their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence while other parts of the world, including the developed West, close boundaries and build walls.

“In my opinion, this is not the way to best protect the U.S. 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 U.S. 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, and he expressed concern at decisions around the world that have undermined 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.

While acknowledging that “countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations,” the UN chief said in the statement because the ban “is gainst the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based.”

Thousands of protesters rallied in front of the White House in Washington D.C. on Sunday while demonstrations continued across more than 30 American airports after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring all refugees and seven Mideast and North African countries’ citizens from entry into the United States.

Under the order, refugees from all over the world will be suspended U.S. entry for 120 days while all immigration from so-called “countries with terrorism concerns” will be suspended for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.