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Upon arrival of World Refugee Day, growing number of refugees in dire need of help

Updated: 2016-06-21 14:18
Upon arrival of World Refugee Day, growing number of refugees in dire need of help

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) greets a child during his visit at the municipality-run refugee camp of Kara Tepe on the island of Lesbos, Greece, June 18, 2016.[Photo/VCG]

BEIJING -- The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for collective response to address the current unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis while marking the World Refugee Day which falls on Monday.

In his message for the day, Ban said more than 1 million refugees arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean last year, but meanwhile divisive political rhetoric on migration issues and growing xenophobia have been on the rise in certain regions.

He called for a collective response from the international community to ensure refugees' rights and protect their dignity based on the principle of non-refoulement.

General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft on Monday also stressed that as conflicts are the main driver of humanitarian needs, the international community must intensify its efforts to find political solutions to conflicts.

UN statistics have shown that more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of war and persecution. Among them, there are 21.3 million refugees and 40.8 million internally displaced persons.

World Refugee Day has been annually marked on June 20 since 2001. This year in September, the UN General Assembly is going to hold a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants in a bid to focus international cooperation on this critical challenge.

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