gwb man of peace award

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    Check the maths; GWB invasion of Afghanistan was a WINNER

    "A Place to Call HomeÓÊ

    ÒAll of us need a place to call home Ð a place where we belong. But for the millions of refugees and displaced people around the world today, home is little more than a distant dream,ÓÊ Ruud Lubbers UNHCR

    World Refugee Day - Sunday 20th June 2004

    Message from United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

    For millions of refugees and displaced people around the world, ÒhomeÓ is a place they have fled from in fear for their lives, in a desperate attempt to find safety. Ê

    Home is also a place many despair of ever seeing again, as they struggle to cope with the shattering enormity of losing family, friends, possessions and everything familiar to them. ÊAmid the flight from conflict and persecution, in the tent cities of refugee camps, and during the wait in unbearable uncertainty to see what the future will hold, it is a refugeeÕs most cherished dream to return home and live in dignity and security. ÊThat is why this yearÕs World Refugee Day is dedicated to the theme, ÒA Place to Call HomeÓ.

    Over the past five decades, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has helped more than 50 million people uprooted by the turmoil of conflict to find a home and start their lives anew. ÊBut of the 17 million people under the agencyÕs protection today, the overwhelming majority desperately want to go back to their own homes. ÊLast year alone, an estimated 1.1 million refugees returned home. ÊIn an extraordinary expression of the powerful desire to return to even a devastated home, more than three million Afghan refugees and displaced have returned since 2002. Ê

    Refugees from Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, C™te dÕIvoire, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Somalia are also deciding to return in large numbers. ÊAnd there are hopeful prospects that a further two million refugees and displaced in Africa will be able to go home.

    But there are also refugees who can never return. ÊFor them, the solution is either integration in countries of first asylum or, if that is not possible, resettlement in a third country where they can restart their lives. Ê

    Throughout this process, we should not forget the generosity of asylum countries in providing shelter to refugees in their time of need. ÊIt is that spirit of generosity and sustained support that is needed from the international community if we are to succeed in giving the millions of refugees and displaced of this world a place to call home. ÊOn this World Refugee Day, let us rededicate ourselves to that mission.

    Kofi Annan,
    World Refugee Day - Sunday 20th June 2004
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