Iranian interior minister to attend UNHCR summit in Geneva

October 7, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli left Tehran for Switzerland on Sunday to partake in an annual summit held by United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees.

Rahmani Fazli, accompanied by his senior aides, is due to address the 70th annual summit of the UNHCR.

The minister will also hold meetings with high-ranking officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UNHCR during his stay in Geneva. 

The annual summit has been routinely held at the venue of United Nations in Geneva on 7th till 10th of October in which ranking representatives of member states have been participating. 

Iran has been a generous host for more than 2 million Afghan refugees for two decades, with little help from the international community.

Tehran has called on the international community to strengthen support for Iran for hosting the Afghan refugees and provide repatriation support for the refugees.

Voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran has slowed in recent years in the face of poor security and economic conditions in Afghanistan, which Tehran blames on the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The office of the UNHCR was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950.

According to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

UNHCR first opened an office in Iran in 1984 and expanded its presence with the massive influx of Iraqi refugees following the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the start of Afghans' mass return movement to Afghanistan in 1992.

Today UNHCR has its Central representative office in Tehran, plus three sub-offices in Mashhad, Kerman, and Ahwaz.

MJ/PA