The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 20, 2012
Statement by the President on World Refugee Day
On this World Refugee Day, the United States joins the international community in recognizing the nearly 15 million refugees worldwide, and millions more internally displaced people. We honor the dignity, courage, and determination of these men, women and children who have fled persecution and violence in their homelands and the commitment and generosity of the countries and organizations that provide them protection and assistance during this difficult time.
While we work to promote lasting peace and stability and human rights around the world, so that these refugees may one day return to their countries in safety and dignity, we know that for some voluntary return may not be possible. For these refugees social, economic, and legal integration in their country of asylum not only provides opportunities for them to begin rebuilding their lives, but also for the contribution of their knowledge, talents, and skills to be fully realized. Americans know the benefits of these valuable contributions firsthand. Since 1975, we have welcomed more than 3 million refugees from all over the world and continue to lead the world in refugee resettlement.
Together with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the international community, we are committed to protecting the world’s refugees, mitigating their suffering, and working to help find ways for them to live in dignity and peace.