President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by proclamation declared today, June 20, “World Refugee Day,” to be observed throughout the country as a working holiday.
The official ceremony of the Day under the theme, “We Stand Together With Refugees,” will be held at the Little Wlebo refugee camp in Maryland County and other sites, including the UNHCR Bahn refugee camp in Nimba County, PTP camp in Grand Gedeh County and in Monrovia, Montserrado County.
The President’s proclamation, According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, stated that the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 55/76 declaring June 20 each year as World Refugee Day.
The UN asked all member states to observe the Day in recognition of the courage and resilience of more than 50 million persons around the world who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflicts or human rights abuses.
World Refugee Day is particularly commemorated to acknowledge the difficulties faced by refugees forced to cross international borders as well as those who remain within their countries as internally displaced persons (IDPs).
This year’s celebration, President Sirleaf said, will serve as a platform to raise awareness and promote solidarity with the refugees through social media and radio programs that will enable UNHCR to disseminate information on the plight of refugees as well as on the different durable solutions, notably voluntary repatriation and local integration.
President Sirleaf stressed that Liberia, being a founding member of the UN, reaffirms its commitment to protecting IDPs and refugees.