Solution urgently needed for Rohingyas, other stateless people: UNHCR

Staff Correspondent

8 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi on Monday said solutions were urgently needed for millions of people without citizenship or the people at risk of statelessness around the world, including the Rohingyas, says a press release.

Filippo Grandi said this ahead of the opening of UNHCR’s annual Executive Committee meeting in Geneva on Monday.

Damaging forms of nationalism and manipulation of anti-refugee and anti-migrant sentiments are powerful forces which are obstacles to the solution of statelessness worldwide, he said.

The recent advances in the battle to end statelessness are being imperiled by a rise in damaging forms of nationalism, said a UNHCR press release.

The UN Refugee Agency launched a global ‘#IBelong’ Campaign in 2014 aimed at ending statelessness by 2024.

Since then some 15 countries have newly acceded to the two major treaties on statelessness. The treaties are: 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

With additional accessions and other commitments expected this week, total accessions to the first of these treaties could soon exceed the notable threshold of 100 countries.

On Monday, leading figures in the media, human rights, refugee and statelessness worlds were joining member state representatives in Geneva in a special session of UNHCR’s Executive Committee meeting known as the High-Level Segment on Statelessness, to take stock of progress half way through the Campaign and to commit to take more action to end statelessness by 2024.

Among those attending are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett, British TV journalist and presenter Anita Rani, formerly stateless refugee and activist Maha Mamo, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Lamberto Zannier and others.