"We must work together to mobilize the political will and leadership to prevent and end the conflicts that trigger refugee flows. [...] Despite budget constraints everywhere, we must not turn away from those in need. Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Malian refugees in Niger. Photo Credit: UNHCR/H. Caux
Theme for 2012:
Refugees have no choice. You do.
For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own Refugee Days and even Weeks. One of the most widespread is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June in several countries.
The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
The General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.
This year the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, will start marking World Refugee Day by rolling out a striking new campaign, "Dilemmas," which is a development of the award-winning "1" campaign launched last year. "Dilemmas" depicts some of the tough choices facing refugees, helping the public to empathize with, and understand, their dilemma.