UN chief Antonio Guterres welcomes positive steps announced by Biden administration on migration
United Nations, Jan 21: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the "positive steps" announced by the Biden administration on migration and refugees and said he was looking forward to working with the new US leadership on strengthening multilateral cooperation in these areas.
On his first day in office, Biden reversed some of former President Donald Trump's immigration policies, such as lifting a travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries.
He signed a number of executive orders and other presidential actions to re-engage with the World Health Organisation, rejoin the Paris climate agreement and boost protections for people who entered the country illegally as minors.
The support from the US to address the needs of migrants and refugees has been strong and steadfast, a statement issued by Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"The Secretary-General welcomes the positive steps announced today by the US administration relating to migration and refugees," the statement said. Guterres "looks forward to working with the new US administration to strengthen multilateral cooperation in these areas.
He also hopes to see the United States join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration," the statement added. "This partnership is needed now more than ever as we seek to provide assistance, protection and sustainable solutions to the displacement of record numbers of people who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, violence or disaster, or are migrating in the hopes of finding a better life for themselves and their families."
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi congratulated US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on taking office and described Biden as a "strong advocate for refugees."
Grandi said Biden has made important commitments to restoring the US refugee resettlement programme and ensuring that human rights and humanitarian values are at the center of the US asylum system. He added that the UN Refugee Agency has enjoyed robust and steadfast support from the government and people of the United States for over 70 years.