Turning Talk into Action for Palestine’s Refugees: Interview with Pierre Krähenbühl

Pierre Krähenbühl briefs the media on the 65th anniversary of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. New York, June 1, 2015. (Rick Bajornas/UN Photo)

“I’ve never met a refugee who wanted to be a refugee, neither have I ever met a refugee who wishes to stay a refugee,” said Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Yet many Palestinian refugees are denied the opportunity to move on from their current position. “UNRA’s existence 67 years after it was created is a very reminder of the international community’s failure to address the political circumstances, and therefore Palestine’s refugees remain refugees after such a prolonged period of time,” Mr. Krähenbühl said.

He also stressed the importance of connecting declarations from this week’s high-level UN summit on refugees and migrants to on-the-ground outcomes in Palestine and other protracted humanitarian crises, such as the one in Syria.

Mr. Krähenbühl spoke with International Peace Institute Senior Adviser Els Debuf as part of a Global Observatory interview series on international migration and the refugee crisis.

Other interviews in this series:

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.