The EurOrient Financial Group Chairman of the
Board of Governors Mr. Ron Nechemia Message
on 2010 World Refugee Day: “World Refugee Day
Serves as a Sobering Reminder”
Los Angeles, 20 June 2010 – As we enter the new millennium the fact that the
world still finds a need for World Refugee Day should serve as a sobering reminder of
our continuing failure to prevent prejudice, persecution, poverty and other root causes of
conflict and displacement. With over a million people forced to flee their homes in
Kosovo, East Timor and Chechnya in the last year of the 20th century alone, it is clear
that the problem of forced displacement has not gone away, and is likely to remain a
major concern of the international community in the 21st century and beyond.
“Persecution, political violence, natural disasters, armed conflict, and other catastrophic
events are among the numerous reasons that, throughout history, millions of people have
had to flee their homes as refugees and seek protection in other countries,” says Mr. Ron
Nechemia the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the EurOrient Financial Group
and the founding father of private sectors global development banking.
Mr. Nechemia pointing out “This year's World Refugee Day has as its theme, "Home,"
in recognition of the plight of more than 40 million uprooted people around the world,
more than three-quarters of them in the developing world, who have been uprooted
from their homes by conflict or persecution. Around 10 million of them are refugees of
special concern to EurOrient Humanitarian Relief, which is an agency of the EurOrient
Financial Group, with a mandate to mobilizing financial support and resources to the
benefit of 48 million people in 25 countries needing urgent humanitarian help.
In this World Year of Peoples’ we celebrate the courage of the tens of millions of
refugees and displaced people who have survived over the past 60 years, often losing
everything but hope, they are amongst the great survivors of the 20th century and they
deserve our respect. That is why in this World Year of Peoples’ we honoring them for
their countless individual and collective accomplishments and expressing our deep and
sincere gratitude to all member of the international community that risks their lives to
save the lives of others.
The International Refugee Day as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which
hosts the most refugees in the world
In 2001 a special United Nations General Assembly Resolution was adopted to declare
the former African Refugee Day as the International Refugee Day as an expression of
solidarity with Africa, which hosts the most refugees in the world. The General Assembly
noted that 2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the
Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity had agreed to have the
International Refugee Day coincide with African Refugee Day on 20 June.
Telling the Human Story
TV wars coverage and news reports from the battlefields published in popular French,
British and American picture magazines such as Vu, Regards, Match, Picture Post and Life,
as well as illustrated daily and weekly newspapers (Le Matin, Paris-Soir, the Daily Mail, the
Daily Herald, the Daily Worker; L’Illustration, the Illustrated London News, Reynold’s News),
their gritty and graphic photographs of soldiers (men and women) in action, bombed
homes and villages, maimed children, corpses and grieving survivors were something
completely new and overwhelming to public at large has raised the awareness and made
profound impact on issues surrounding the rights and the life of refugees.
“Media news coverage, reports and images associated with extreme conflict and matters
of life and death, draw intense attention of the public to the very complex realities
surrounding refugees issues: scenes that surpass normal imagination,” pointing out Mr.
Nechemia and he added “. . . Eighteen Vietnamese refugees in 1975 leave in a small craft
and in crossing the Gulf of Thailand are attacked by pirates, one girl who resists being
raped is killed and another young girl of 15 is abducted. The remaining 16 persons who
are of no use to the pirates have their boat rammed repeatedly and all perish at sea.”
The Great Lakes Region of Central Africa
Ethnic tensions and armed conflict in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa have
been the cause of repeated instances of human displacement. The pattern of events in
the last 60 years is rooted in a long history of violence, but it is also a story of missed
opportunities, on the part of both local actors and the international community in
general. Failure to pursue just solutions to old grievances has in all too many cases,
years or decades later, led to a recurrence of violence and to bloodletting on an
even greater scale than before.
Approximately 800,000 people were killed between April and July 1994 in the genocide
which followed. Although a multinational United Nations peacekeeping force, the United
Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda, had been deployed in Rwanda in October 1993
with a limited mandate to help the parties implement the Arusha Agreement, the bulk of
this force withdrew soon after the outbreak of violence. This failure by the United
Nations and the international community to protect the civilian population from
genocide was examined and acknowledged in a United Nations report published in
More than 40 million uprooted people around the world
The theme of this year’s observance — “Home” — highlights the plight of the world’s
10 million refugees whom cannot get back to their home. Last year, only 250,000 did so
– the lowest number in two decades. The reasons for this include prolonged instability in
Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. “Refugees have
been deprived of their homes and they have been forced to make a home away from
home, but it is our collective responsibility to insure that they must not be deprived of
their futures,” stress the Chairman of the Board of Governors Mr. Ron Nechemia.
“The large number of young people among displaced populations has important
implications for protection,” Stress Mr. Nechemia. Displaced children and adolescents
are particularly vulnerable to threats to their safety and wellbeing. These include
separation from families, sexual exploitation, HIV/AIDS infection, forced labor or
slavery, abuse and violence, forcible recruitment into armed groups, trafficking, lack of
access to education and basic assistance, detention and denial of access to asylum or
family-reunification procedures.” Mr. Nechemia pointed out and further added
“…Unaccompanied children are at greatest risk, since they lack the protection, physical
care and emotional support provided by the family. Those accompanied by only one
parent or career may also be at higher risk than other children.”
There are around 51,000 registered Colombian refugees in Ecuador, but United Nations
estimates that about 135,000 people are in need of international protection. This makes
Ecuador the country with the largest refugee population in Latin America.
A statement released by the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs in
connection with this year’s World Refugee Day, said The number of refugees has
increased to 150,366 now from 110,000 last year due the massive influx of refugees
mainly from Eritrea and Somalia.
According to Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, Ethiopia is currently is
hosting 70,491 Somalis, 50,718 Eritreans and 24,692 Sudanese refugees in 12 refugee
Accordingly, on average some 2,000 Eritreans and 1,250 Somali refugees are crossing the
borders to Ethiopia every month seeking refuge.
Refugees in the Twenty-First Century
In many parts of the South, industrialization has lessened the value of traditional modes
of production, forcing people to move from rural areas to cities. When workers do not
find enough work in the cities, overseas migration may be the next step. Weak economies
and weak states often go together, so impoverishment and outward migration are closely
For many refugees today, rapid urbanization means that home is not a crowded camp
run by an international humanitarian organization, but a makeshift shelter in a
shantytown, outside a city in the developing world. “We in the humanitarian community
must adapt our policies to this changing profile of need,” says Mr. Nechemia and he
added “As these cities continue to experience spectacular growth, refugees are among
their most vulnerable residents. They must struggle for the most basic services: sanitation,
health and education. The impact of the global financial and economic crisis only
increases the threat of marginalization and destitution.”
The Road a Head
On this World Refugee Day 2010, it is clear that the old problem of forced
displacement in the 20th century has not gone away, and is likely to remain a major
concern of the international community in the 21st century and beyond.
Good and dedicated people have for the last generations and more have worked on
many of these issues in recent years. Their visions have only been partially realized. Let
ensure the in the 21st century the root causes of conflict and displacement are
thoroughly address, those includes human rights violations and poverty and other root
causes of conflict and displacement, because we do not want our children meeting thirty
years from now debating these same topics. We want them to be enjoying the fruits of a
far more developed world that built on solid foundations.
EurOrient Financial Group is a private sector global development finance institution
accredited by the United Nations General Assembly on Financing for Development. The
mission of the EurOrient Financial Group is to support the economic and social
development efforts of the less developed countries as they, in particular, seek to achieve
the Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”).
The EurOrient’s principal objective is to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable
economic growth. EurOrient invests in projects and programs that promote social
development, build human capacities, and address host government priorities for
investments in physical infrastructure that promote and enhance social development.
These projects include roads, transportation and communication systems, water,
sanitation and other types of investments with social development outcomes such as
improved quality of life and increased human knowledge and skills.
More detailed information can be found on the EurOrient’s website: