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Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva arrow News - Interviews - Speechesarrow Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis meets with the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore

Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis meets with the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore

Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis met today with the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, within the framework of his participation at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva.

During the meeting, Ms. Gilmore stated that the UNHCR recognizes the challenges being faced by Greece, the birthplace of Democracy, which is a "model for emulation" in terms of the humanism with which it is dealing with the refugee flows.

The Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights said she was impressed by the solidarity shown by the Greek government and Greek society with the refugees, underscoring that our country has shouldered a great share of the burden of the refugee crisis, but at the same time is taking on its full share of responsibilities.

Ms. Gilmore reiterated that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is at Greece's side, calling Greece "a source of inspiration for contemporary humanism."

Mr. Amanatidis underscored that "today it is universally acknowledged that the Greek government, supported by civil society, international actors and everyday Greek citizens, has given high priority to the protection of the human rights of refugees and migrants. Particularly in the case of those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, unaccompanied minors and the disabled.

Fundamental rights, such as the right to life and the right to healthcare and education, are at the focus of our policies. This is clear from the thousands of lives that have been saved in the Aegean Sea by the Hellenic Coast Guard and everyday fishermen over the past two years, since this unprecedented crisis began.

The Deputy Foreign Minster also highlighted that the refugee crisis exceeds the capabilities and planning of each state separately and should be dealt with collectively, in cooperation with other EU member states and with broader coordination between the countries of origin, transit and destination.

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