UAE among first countries to support refugees: Azerbaijani Ambassador to UN.

Vaqif Sadiqov, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations in Geneva, praised the UAE’s pioneering role in supporting international stability, which has made it among the first countries to provide humanitarian assistance for refugees, through its participation in the international efforts to face humanitarian crises around the world, including the internal refugee crisis in Azerbaijan.

He made this statement during his meeting with Hanif Hassan Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, while accompanied by his delegation, on the sidelines of an international seminar on the refugee and migrants crisis, which was organised by the Centre, in cooperation with the UAE’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

Both sides discussed the latest updates on the migration and displacement situation in Azerbaijan, as well as the lessons learnt that could be used to ease the situation in the Middle East, especially as Azerbaijan hosts the largest refugee community in the world, of up to one million people, which is equivalent to the combined number of refugees in the whole of Europe.

Sadiqov explained that over the last 20 years, his country has invested some US$6 billion to help ease the ordeal of refugees in Azerbaijan, which reflects the commitment of his government to improve their conditions.

He also presented his country’s efforts to create a permanent solution and improve the integration of refugees within the Azerbaijan community, as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resulted in the forcible displacement of over 600,000 people from Azerbaijan.

Al Qassim said that the unprecedented increase in the rate of armed conflicts and violence in the Middle East resulted in the decline of the human rights of refugees, while adding that there were an estimated 40 million people who were considered refugees in 2016.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said that there are 31.1 million new internally-displaced people around the world, and the Middle East has some one-third of this number, mainly due to the region’s conflicts. This requires a serious assessment of the situation and the ways of solving the refugee issue, based upon effective international experience, it added.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs