Message from UNA-GSC President | UNA Greater Seattle Chapter

United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter

Message from UNA-GSC President

April 19th, 2016 by unaseattle

The United Nations has reported that the number of displaced persons worldwide – currently 60 million — has reached its highest total since the end of World War II. This figure includes nearly 20 million refugees, who have crossed an international border, and also includes very large numbers of children.  The displacements have aroused sympathy, fear, and anger in many locations, and have been central issues in the US Presidential campaign and current politics in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The world looked on in dismay as the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of violence in Syria came on March 15, 2016, with vague hopes but no clear solution to the conflict.  In the meantime, families are torn apart, children miss out on years of education, and expected temporary separations turn in to years of permanent displacement.

The United Nations issued its “Joint United Nations Statement on Syria” on March 12, 2016 to coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak. The UN continues its strong effort to call for cease-fires in order to reach more affected areas, and continues to press for political solutions.  According to the Statement, this promising effort has enabled the UN to reach six million new persons since the beginning of 2016. The UN continues to identify regions in Syria that are in greatest need and to press for safe access to those regions to provide medical supplies, water and other necessities.

We must not forget that Syria, although the primary focus of world attention, is not the only country suffering from the causes of mass displacement, both internally and across its borders. Persecution of ethnic minorities in Myanmar and Bhutan, terrorist acts in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, and political persecution in Iran, among other countries, have all caused populations to move outside the borders of their primary country of residence.

The United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter is focusing strong attention on the issues of displaced persons during the year 2016. We would like to invite you to the event Displacement, Resettlement and Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis, presented in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Seattle, with details below.

-       Submitted by Eugene Martin, Board President

*****    *****

UNA Seattle is pleased to partner with the World Affairs Council in presenting Displacement, Resettlement and Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis on Wednesday, April 20 at Antioch University (Room 100), 2326 Sixth Avenue in downtown Seattle.

The program begins at 6:00 PM and features a panel discussion by seven international visitors working in refugee resettlement in Europe.  Panelists include representatives of the Red Cross (Russia and Hungary), Sweden’s Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the  Interior of Slovakia, and representatives from UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency.  The panel will be moderated by Dr. Arzoo Onsaloo,  Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s program in Law, Societies and Justice.

The panel will be preceded beginning at 4:30 with a workshop on using United Nations and The Choices Program materials in the social studies classrooms. The workshop includes three (3) Washington State clock hours. All interested persons are welcome.

You may register for only the public program (6:00 to 7:30) or for the full program (4:30 to 7:30) including the teachers workshop by registering with the World Affairs Council here.

 

 


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