Statement by Permanent Representative of Pakistan – High-level Meeting on Global Responsibility Sharing – Pathways for Admission of Syrian Refugees, (30 March 2016)
High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi,
We heard with interest the Panel Discussion held earlier in the day and appreciated the forthright manner in which the panelists addressed the issues.
Pakistan commends UNHCR for the convening of High-level Meeting on Syrian refugees. It is an important milestone in what is turning out to be a year of humanitarian solidarity and action.
Last year, we witnessed Syrian and other refugees undertaking perilous journeys across land and sea, in search of safety, dignity, and hope for a better future. The neighbouring countries – Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt – despite limited resources, provided sanctuary to millions. Many others, not in geographical proximity, lend a helping hand. At the same time, we saw some doors shut.
As a host country for decades, this phenomena is not new to Pakistan. We have experienced that contributions of host countries are largely taken for granted. While their national resources are stretched to cater for increasing protection needs of refugees, the pledges of international solidarity often remain just that.
In the name of humanity, it is our collective duty to ensure that mere politics and labeling of convenience do not extinguish the hopes of millions of Syrians.
We have sincere expectations of the Geneva peace talks on Syria. This will lead to durable peace and alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
With today’s meeting, we are encouraged to see the resolve for sharing burden and responsibility. Our common endeavour to ensure that no one is left behind, calls for proactive action – to think beyond our national priorities and strengthen each other in catering to the humanitarian needs.
Pakistan acknowledges the tremendous contributions by countries that continue to offer hope to the Syrian refugees.
Finally, Pakistan appreciates the High Commissioner’s commitment to find solutions to all refugee situations.