U.N. chief warns border control policies must not discriminate

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb 1 (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has underscored the need for nondiscriminatory border controls, a statement seen as a rejoinder to U.S. Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily halt immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“Countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations,” Guterres said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“This cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality because that is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based,” he added without naming Trump or his policies.
The UN chief had made similar comments on the weekend while attending the Africa Summit in Ethiopia and on Friday at events commemorating victims of the Holocaust.
“Blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements,” he said.He also warned that discriminatory measures risked triggering “widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organizations we all want to fight against.”Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, according to international refugee law,” Guterres said in a statement.
The UN chief made a particular mention of Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, that, he noted “for decades has been keeping its borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighbours, many times in dramatic security situations.”
Trump signed his executive order on Friday that halted travel to the United States by people with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and stopped the resettlement of refugees for 120 days.
There was widespread confusion at airports around the world as customs officials and airlines struggled to interpret the new rules. Several lawsuits have been filed blocking portions of the order, which drew harsh criticism from Democrats, human rights organizations and some Western U.S. allies.