UN chief urges US for lifting travel ban

UN chief urges US for lifting travel ban

New York (Online): United Nations´ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged US for lifting ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying the actions would not prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

Guterres told reporters, “I think that these measures should be removed sooner rather than later.”

He further said, “Those measures indeed violate our basic principles and I think that they are not effective if the objective is to, really, avoid terrorists to enter the United States.”

The appeal to end the travel ban came following a mounting international outcry over the 90-day entry restrictions on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing the immediate ban and also suspending the arrival of all refugees for a minimum of 120 days while Syrian refugees were barred indefinitely.

Guterres again appealed to the US administration to reverse course while addressing the US suspension of refugee resettlement and the ban on Syrians.

Guterres, who served as UN refugee chief for 10 years before his election as secretary-general, said, “Resettlement is the must from the point of view of refugee protection.”

“I strongly hope that the US will be able to re-establish its very solid refugee protection in resettlement and I hope that the Syrians will not be excluded in that process.”

Trump’s decision triggered protests and chaos at airports while UN human rights chief Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein declared it illegal and “mean-spirited.”

Guterres, who took over from South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon on January 1, argued that banning citizens from Muslim countries would not prevent terrorist organizations from mounting an attack on the United States.