High Commissioner Guterres heads to Tajikistan

Briefing Notes, 28 March 2008

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 28 March 2008, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

High Commissioner António Guterres starts a three-day visit to the Republic of Tajikistan on Monday. He is expected to meet President Emomali Rahmon and various other key ministers. They will discuss improvement of the national asylum systems in the country; the integration of some 1,000 Afghans who have been refugees in Tajikistan for up to 20 years; and further cooperation between UNHCR and the country. Over the past 15 years, UNHCR has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Government of Tajikistan.

In the course of the visit, the High Commissioner will also participate in the official opening of vocational training projects established at a refugee training centre in Dushanbe.

In 1993, Tajikistan was the first country in Central Asia to accede to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol on the status of refugees. It was also the first country to adopt national refugee legislation. Tajikistan currently hosts 1,710 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan.

This is the third mission the High Commissioner has made to Central Asia, following his visits to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in November last year. He is also planning to visit Turkmenistan in the near future.

Prior to his Central Asia mission, Mr. Guterres will attend an Arab heads summit in Damascus, Syria, over the weekend.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

The High Commissioner

António Guterres, who joined UNHCR on June 15, 2005, is the UN refugee agency's 10th High Commissioner.

2013 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented Sister Angélique Namaika of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award at a gala ceremony in Geneva on Monday night.

Sister Angélique, through her Centre for Reintegration and Development, has helped transform the lives of more than 2,000 women and girls who had been forced from their homes and abused by fighters of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) or other armed groups. Many of those she helps suffered abduction, forced labour, beatings, murder, rape or other human rights abuses.

The Roman Catholic nun helps survivors to heal by offering them the chance to learn a trade, start a small business or go to school. Testimonies from these women show the remarkable effect she has had on helping turn around their lives, with many affectionately calling her "mother."

The Award ceremony featured a keynote speech from best-selling author Paulo Coelho and musical performances by singer-songwriter Dido, Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna and Grammy-nominated Malian musicians, Amadou and Mariam.

2013 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

UNHCR chief meets Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

On 1 August, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres travelled to northern Burkina Faso with the United States' Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BRPM), Anne Richard. In Damba camp, they met with Malian refugees who had fled northern Mali in the past six months to escape the ongoing conflict and political instability. To date, more than 250,000 Malian refugees have fled their homes and found refuge in neighbouring countries, including 107,000 in Burkina Faso alone. The UN refugee agency has only received one-third of the US$153 million it needs to provide life-saving assistance such as shelter, water, sanitation, health services, nutrition and protection to the refugees. UNHCR fears that the volatile political and humanitarian situation in Mali could lead to further outflows to neighbouring countries.

UNHCR chief meets Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

Angelina Jolie meets boat people in Malta, Lampedusa

Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie joined UNHCR chief António Guterres on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where they met with boat people who have fled unrest in North Africa.

More than 40,000 people, including refugees and asylum-seekers, have crossed the Mediterranean on overcrowded boats and descended on the small island since the beginning of the year.

The UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador flew to Lampedusa from Malta, which has also been a destination for people fleeing North Africa by boat.

Angelina Jolie meets boat people in Malta, Lampedusa

South Sudan: UNHCR and WFP Visit with Aid  Play video

South Sudan: UNHCR and WFP Visit with Aid

The heads of UNHCR Antonio Guterres, and WFP's Ertharin Cousin visited South Sudan in April 2014, to raise awareness of the conditions faced by the people of South Sudan due to the ongoing violence.
Central African Republic : Bangui Airport RefugePlay video

Central African Republic : Bangui Airport Refuge

UNHCR's High Commissioner António Guterres visits Central African Republic and meets internally displaced people in Bangui airport. He says the international community needs to give the CAR crisis the same focus as the emergencies in Syria and South Sudan.
Iraq: High-Level UN Visit to ErbilPlay video

Iraq: High-Level UN Visit to Erbil

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and OCHA chief Valerie Amos, travel to northern Iraq to meet refugees from Syria, assess their situation and show solidarity as well as thanking host communities.