The number of refugees in the world has shot up from 42 million to almost 66 million since 2009, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday.
“The global community’s declining capacity to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts is to blame for the spike,’’ Filippo Grandi told the UN Security Council in New York.
Grandi said the “cataclysmic conflict’’ in Syria alone has driven 11 million people from their homes, and Syria and Iraq today account for a quarter of all those forcibly displaced globally.
Grandi cited the crisis in Myanmar, which has seen over 500,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees flee to bordering Bangladesh as “a stark illustration of what happens when the root causes of conflict and violence are not addressed.”
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has termed the crisis “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
“The world is counting on the leadership of the Security Council to restore security, resolve conflict and build peace.
“Neglected local crises gather pace and become transnational with broader implications.
“The focus is on short-term interests rather than long-term collective stability. Have we become unable to broker peace?’’ Grandi said.