CEO stresses gradual, voluntary return of refugees
KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah has underlined the need for sustainable, voluntary and safe repatriation of Afghan refugees to their country.
Addressing a meeting of the Quadripartite Steering Committee in Geneva on Friday, he all parties to take measures to adhere to the letter and spirit of tripartite agreements.
“In Afghanistan’s current context, I would also appeal to the members to take all possible steps to ensure that return is gradual, and occurs at a pace at which my government can facilitate durable solutions.”
In a statement from his office, Abdullah recalled his meeting with refugee elders. The elders told him vulnerabilities would be reduced if refugee families were allowed proper time to bring home their personal as well as business assets.
“We Afghans are very much grateful to Pakistan and Iran, neighboring countries that opened their borders in the spirit and intent of the Refugee Convention, and welcomed an estimated 8 to 10 million Afghans...”
Despite serious security risks inside the country, he anticipate that by the year’s end, some one million people would either be newly displaced or will return in haste from neighbouring countries in the region and from Europe.
“In Afghanistan’s current context, I would also appeal that the quadripartite members take all possible steps to ensure that return is gradual, and occurs at a pace at which my Government can facilitate viable durable solutions.”
The CEO also referred to the 2015 Comprehensive Voluntary Repatriation and Reintegration Strategy of the government, saying the plan had struck the right balance and outlined Afghans to gradually return home voluntarily.
He said vulnerability stemmed from the simple fact that they had spent their entire lives in host countries and lacked the essential networks and local knowledge to establish their families and reclaim land and property.
The Sub-Committee of Ministers of the High Commission for Migration, chaired by the CEO, endorsed in principle a Unified Action Plan a few weeks ago that will ensure the coherence of national policies affecting refugees, returnees, IDPs and migrants.
“We are confident that the integrated approach I have just highlighted is the right one when put to practice. And we are pleased that our friends and supporters in the international community endorsed our path forward this week in Brussels.”
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