WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution in the Senate Tuesday recognizing June 20, 2017 as World Refugee Day.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are approximately 65 million people displaced across the globe – the highest level in recorded human history. The resolution states that World Refugee Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution.
“The global displacement trends we are witnessing now, due to conflict, severe human rights abuses, and climate change, are not going away. U.S. leadership in responding to these crises, whether it is the immense suffering of refugees from South Sudan or the plight of the internally-displaced in Syria and Iraq, is critical,” Senator Cardin said. “How we respond—or whether we respond at all—will undoubtedly shape the landscape and the lives of future generations for years to come.”
Joining Cardin as original cosponsors of the resolution are U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.); Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.); Chris Coons (D-Del.); Ed Markey (D-Mass.); Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); Cory Booker (D-N.J.); Al Franken (D-Minn.); Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Tim Kaine (D-Va.); and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
“Turning away refugees—whether they are from Syria or Somalia, Burma or Iraq, whether they are Muslims or Christians, Hindus or Jews– means turning our backs on the international humanitarian system and the mechanisms of stability and security that are the bedrocks of international order. Refugees remain powerful ambassadors of the American Dream and our nation’s founding principles of equal opportunity, religious freedom, and liberty and justice for all,” Cardin added.
Senator Cardin’s full speech on World Refugee Day was entered into the Congressional Record and can be found at this link.
The text of the World Refugee Day resolution can be found at this link. The resolution has been endorsed by nearly 70 organizations.