The new Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, Mitchell Peter Fifield, presented his credentials to UN Secretary‑General António Guterres today.
The United Nations agencies in Mexico have staff in place, with more to be deployed in the coming days, to cooperate closely with local and federal authorities, among others, to attend to migrant needs in Tapachula, Chiapas and nearby towns.
The UN refugee agency today drew attention to a collapsing health situation among refugees and asylum-seekers at off-shore facilities in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, calling on the Government of Australia to urgently act to prevent a further tragedy to people forcibly transferred under its off-shore processing policy.
Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks at the signing ceremony of a new maritime boundary agreement between Australia and Timor-Leste, in New York today:
Humanitarian operations in Iraq are contracting in 2018 versus last year, when 6.2 million people were targeted with assistance. The 2018 humanitarian response plan, launched on 6 March, seeks $569 million to assist 3.4 million highly vulnerable people struggling in the aftermath of the conflict with Da’esh.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is again calling urgently upon the Government of Australia to find humane solutions for the refugees and asylum-seekers abandoned on Manus Island, noting that about 800 people have remained in a precarious situation there since the “off-shore processing” facility was closed on 31 October.
Some 4,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh in the last 48 hours. The newly arrived refugees say thousands more people are waiting on Myanmar’s coast to make the crossing. United Nations agencies and their partners are providing food and other supplies.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Australia to address the imminent humanitarian crisis for refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, stressing his profound concern over the risks of “offshore processing” arrangements, for which Australia seeks to decrease support by the end of October.
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, called today for an immediate end to Australia’s off-shore processing of refugees, saying the harmful practice, carried out in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, denies access to asylum in Australia and has caused extensive, avoidable suffering for far too long.