May 29, 2024

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At UN, India Highlights How It Helped Millions Of Refugees From ‘West Pakistan Massacre’

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India’s hospitality, and assistance for refugee communities from neighboring countries is well recorded and appreciated,” TS Tirumurti said

India’s humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, particularly to those facing persecution, has been one of compassion and empathy, said Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, on Tuesday. He underlined India’s role and commitment to the humanitarian protection of refugees.

When West Pakistan unleashed genocide on East Pakistan, India hosted millions of refugees and saved them from massacre, said Permanent Representative of India to the UN, ambassador T.S. Tirumurti at the UNSC briefing by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“In contemporary history, India’s hospitality, and assistance for refugee communities from the neighboring countries is well recorded and appreciated. Be it the Tibetans or our brothers and sisters from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Myanmar, India has always responded with compassion and understanding. When West Pakistan unleashed genocide on East Pakistan, India hosted millions of refugees and saved them from the massacres,” ambassador TS Tirumurti stated.

India represents UN’s concept of ‘Responsibility to Protect’

According to ambassador Tirumurti, India’s humanitarian response to the refugee issue from Bangladesh was one of the most sophisticated and empathetic in contemporary history, and may well have represented one of the first instances of the UN’s concept of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.

He then added that, the consequences in the current world’s standards of human rights and international humanitarian law for such dastardly acts may have been ‘fated differently’.

The Indian ambassador to the UN stated that India is host to a large number of refugees and the country’s programs to assist the refugees is entirely managed entirely from their own resources.

“India has clearly demonstrated at all times abiding commitment towards the principles of international law in protecting refugees,” ambassador Tirumurti highlighted. India’s efforts have been both acknowledged and appreciated by Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General.

India committed to dignified, safe and sustainable return of refugees

India has long been committed to facilitating the dignified, safe and sustainable return of refugees to their homelands worldwide, for instance, by partnering with UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to help the Palestine Refugees in the Near East. India has been supportive of UNRWA’s role in human development and delivery of humanitarian service and has enhanced its contribution in recent years.

At the UNRWA Ministerial conference in Brussels, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs renewed the country’s commitment to continue to contribute $5 million to the agency in 2022.

Tirumurti also noted the surge of refugees as updated by UNHCR and the internally displaced persons, a count that went above 91 million. The magnitude of the problem is worrying, according to Tirumurti. He outlined some of the observations to mitigate the crisis such as preventing armed conflicts, countering terrorism, building and sustaining peace through facilitating sustainable development and good governance that stops people from fleeing their homeland.

He then acknowledged that the refugee issue is a global challenge and no country can resolve this issue on its own. He also urged for a collaborative approach and participation of all member states and relevant stakeholders in line with the relevant international law for a resolution.

“We firmly believe that the principles of humanity, impartiality, and neutrality must be upheld in dealing with refugee matters,” said TS Tirumurti, as he pushed for non-discriminatory and equitable medical aid to refugees.

He then stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing humanitarian challenges, which according to him need more empathy now.

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