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UN chief says more people fleeing homes

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Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks during the opening session of the Doha Forum in the Qatari capital on December 15, 2018. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

  • ‘258 million migrants live outside home country of birth’

President of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Saturday called on countries to forge uncommon partnerships to tackle rising conflicts and displacements across the world.

Espinosa, an Ecuadorian who was elected President in September during the 73rd session of the Assembly, said this while delivering a speech at the two-day 18th Doha Forum, which opened Saturday morning in Doha, the Qatari capital.

She said more than 258 million migrants “today live outside their home country of birth due to conflicts.”

She noted that the world was in its highest point of transition and therefore needed immediate action to curb populism, rising nationalism sentiments and displacements.

“People leave their homes fleeing bombs, and nearly one person was displaced every two seconds last year,” she said.

According to Espinosa, there is need for a stronger multilateral system, “and states can still come together to make progress.”

The United Nations General Assembly president explained that her preoccupation as president of the General Assembly was (managing) young people, “just as she noted that “the world is in no shortage of crises.”

While the major challenges of cyber security and climate change subsist, Espinosa said the international community needed to “do more to support intermediation and conflict resolution.”

Expressing deep concern over the International Monetary Fund’s warning on impending financial crisis, even “when some countries are still recovering,” the UN official said “we must work towards a global governance system” that is inclusive and democratic.”

She advised that “While we safeguard the environment, it is essential to renew the essentials of cooperation,”

She hinnted that she would be convening a meeting of member states next week in New York to discuss critical issues of cooperation against rising conflicts.

Somalian Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said countries must work together to avert another economic meltdown as predicted by the IMF.


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María Fernanda Espinosa
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