Landmarks illuminated to celebrate Refugee Day

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From Sydney to San Francisco, UNHCR and its partners, including governments, donors, non-governmental organizations, goodwill ambassadors and refugees themselves, took part in awareness-raising, cultural, educational, environmental and sport activities to celebrate World Refugee Day 20 June.

In keeping with past tradition, landmarks around the world were illuminated in UN blue, including, for the second year in a row, the iconic Empire State Building in New York as well as the Colosseum in Rome, the Tokyo Tower and the world's largest civil administration building, in Romania.

 

In Rome UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presided over a an event with Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano and six refugees, including a Polish survivor of the Holocaust in World War II.

As UNHCR celebrated the World Refugee Day , during the agency's 60th anniversary year, Mr. Guterres appealed to industrialized countries to do more to help developing nations in dealing with huge refugee populations.

"We need a new deal in burden and responsibility sharing – much stronger support from countries in the north to countries in the south to help all those who crossed borders . . . The truth is, if there is a burden or responsibility it is essentially assumed by countries in the developing world," he said while presenting UNHCR's 2010 Global Trends report in Rome.  (See: http://www.unric.org/en/in-focus-world-environment-day/26806-new-report-developed-countries-host-80-of-refugees-).

The annual report shows that the number of forcibly displaced people in the world is nearly 44 million – a 15-year high. It also reveals a deep imbalance in international support for the forcibly displaced, with 80 per cent of the world's refugees being hosted by developing countries.