Call for humanitarian help for war refugees

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: The Island
| Date: 20000402

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke has called for humanitarian assistance for millions of refugees displaced by the war or neglected by the governments.

Holbooke told students at the New York’s Cardozo Law School that the number of displaced persons in the world due to armed conflicts is almost double the number of refugees.

He said that out of 20 million people displaced throughout the world due to armed conflicts, six lakhs of people live in Sri Lanka.

"Our goal is to establish a system to support internal refugees’, , Holbrooke said.

Sometimes UN intervention could be obstructed due to ‘ sovereignly’ of nations, he added.

"But sovereignty is not the license for irresponsibility. States cannot be allowed to use sovereignty to justify abuse of people".

He said that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and other heads of UN agencies should prepare to intervene personally when states deliberately obstruct access or deny it outright - with the support of UN members.