The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, former Danish Prime Minister, Poul Hartling, has told a meeting of the Round Table Organisation in Switzerland that refugees can become assets to their adopted countries if they are given the right aid.
GV INTERIOR Mr. Poul Hartling, High Commissioner for Refugees, shaking hands with delegates at the Round Table in Geneva, Switzerland
SV Mr. Hartling speaking to Round Table as delegates look on (6 shots)
HARTLING: "The essential human experience of being a refugee has been the same throughout history and across the world. Nor have the solutions to refugee problems changed greatly over time or space. Refugees need to be fed, clothed and sheltered--they want to go back home if they can, and often need help to do so--they need to find new homes if they cannot return to their old ones. So fundamental human needs, and indeed human emotions, in the face of the experience of exile, are the same for everyone in the human family--and that has not changed. Refugee children are numerically half of the world's refugees. But they are much more than half of the world's refugee problem. Their vulnerability, their unique needs, and the fact that individual refugee crises, if not solved, will be passed on to succeeding generations in a painful legacy of bitterness, all make them a case for special consideration. If they are properly cared for, nourished and educated, these children can become assets to their new countries. I have often pointed out that yesterday's exiles are today's free citizens and leaders. By helping refugee children the world would be improving not only their futures, but those of the countries to which they could contribute their talents and skills."
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Background: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, former Danish Prime Minister, Poul Hartling, has told a meeting of the Round Table Organisation in Switzerland that refugees can become assets to their adopted countries if they are given the right aid. He said many of the refugees of yesterday are now leaders and free citizens.
SYNOPSIS: Among the refugee workers Mr. Hartling met in Geneva was the recipient of this year's Nansen Medal for refugee aid, Maryluz Paredes, the Director General of the International Social Services in Venezuela. Mr. Hartling went on to tell delegates about the needs of refugees.