UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File photo: CGTN)
UNITED NATIONS, June 20 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday regretted the apathy of some countries toward refugees.
"I want to recognize the humanity of countries that host refugees even as they struggle with their own economic challenges and security concerns. ... It is regrettable that their example is not followed by all," said Guterres in a message on World Refugee Day.
"We must re-establish the integrity of the international protection regime," he said.
Guterres said there are more than 70 million refugees and internally displaced persons, who have been forced to flee war, conflict and persecution. "This is an astonishing number, twice what it was 20 years ago."
Most of the forcibly displaced came from just a handful of countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. In the past 18 months, millions more have fled Venezuela, he said.
The Global Compact on Refugees, adopted in December 2018, offers a blueprint for modern refugee response, said the UN chief.
World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 every year to raise awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.