Remarks by Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, at a UN Security Council Briefing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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May 30, 2024

Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you High Commissioner Grandi, for your tireless work on behalf of refugees and other vulnerable groups around the world. You are dealing with unprecedented challenges in Europe, Africa, Latin America and other places around the globe.

The United States continues to take significant action worldwide to support refugees and the countries who host them. The United States is the largest single humanitarian donor in the world. In our fiscal year 2023 alone, we provided nearly $15 billion in global humanitarian assistance on behalf of the American people.

For example, since Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the United States has provided nearly $2.9 billion to support refugees, internally displaced persons, and others in need.

Similarly, the United States is by far the most significant humanitarian donor in Sudan and throughout the region, responding to the mass atrocities, famine-like conditions, and large-scale displacement and refugee movements into some of the world’s poorest countries.

In 2023, we welcomed 60,014 resettled refugees to the United States and we are on track to reach or surpass 100,000 arrivals this year. We are doing our part, and we call on other Member States to do more.

We are proud that our refugee admissions program brings refugees from every continent and corner of the world, 79 nationalities from 95 host countries this fiscal year.

We believe all refugees, from all backgrounds, and with all skill sets, are deserving of durable solutions, including third country resettlement. This administration is especially proud of its work to help resettle LGBTQI+ refugees fleeing persecution from around the world.

Indeed, over the last several decades the United States has admitted more than two million refugees. Data and evidence show the significant economic and social contributions refugees have provided to communities throughout the United States.

While we continue to respond to and support the UN-led response to multiple, concurrent emergencies causing displacement, we are also using our resources and diplomatic efforts to advance rights of refugees and work closely with other Member States to afford protection to refugees.

We are committed to working together with the international community at the political level to resolve conflicts that are driving displacement.

Advancing protection of refugees is critical to reach sustainable solutions for displacement. UNHCR is an indispensable part of advancing solutions.

At the same time, and more than ever before, we need humanitarian financing, development efforts, and private sector investments to work in concert to effectively address today’s complex forced displacement crises.

Indeed, more humanitarian resources alone are insufficient to meet the complexity of today’s problems. We need greater emphasis on local and regional solutions, including lawful pathways for refugees and migrants to move safely and in dignity. The Safe Mobility Offices in Central and South America highlight our efforts in this area. We appreciate our partnership with many Member States on this important initiative, which we hope can serve as a model as we move forward together in tackling these issues.

Mr. President, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protection as the bedrock of humanitarian response, self-reliance, and durable solutions, rooted in the self-identified needs of affected persons.

Today, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons around the world need our commitment to protect them. I urge fellow Member States to heed the High Commissioner’s calls and take steps to improve the implementation of our shared commitments to protecting forcibly displaced and stateless persons.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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