"You can take away my home but you cannot take away my future"

OTTAWA, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - On World Refugee Day, 20 June 2010, the world will honour refugees for their determination under a global theme of "Home - you can take away my home but you cannot take away my future." The selected theme also intends to draw the world's attention to the critical need to find solutions and ensure that refugees have access to education and skills so their lives are not put on hold while solutions are sought.

"This is the second year in a row that UNHCR selects a theme to specifically point to the urgent need to find solutions for refugees and meet their needs. In 2009, with the theme of "Real People, Real Needs," World Refugee Day focussed on refugees' unmet needs. It is clear that more has to be done, and World Refugee Day is a good occasion to renew our commitment towards refugees", said Mr. Abraham ABRAHAM, UNHCR Representative in Canada.

In Canada, while Canadians from coast to coast will mark this important day through various activities, World Refugee Day 2010 will provide an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on all efforts made both at national and international levels to allow an estimated 43 million forcibly displaced people worldwide to rebuild their lives and continue to contribute to their host communities.

"UNHCR considers the Government and the People of Canada as very important allies in the search for solutions for displaced people and we are very grateful for all their efforts. On this World Refugee Day, I would like to specifically convey UNHCR's deep gratitude to the Government and the People of Canada for the generous funding received so far in 2010 for UNHCR's operations worldwide. Canada's support for UNHCR's activities provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to respond to the needs of the world's uprooted people goes a long way," said Abraham.

"Canada has welcomed refugees seeking a secure, law-abiding society based on democracy and human rights. Our government continues to support those refugees in developing countries who have been forced to leave their homes and communities," said Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. "CIDA's support of organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provides humanitarian assistance and protection to some of the world's most vulnerable populations."

This financial support from the Canadian Government in this calendar year has reached 46.5 million Canadian dollars. More information on Canada's contributions to UNHCR can be found on UNHCR website www.unhcr.org

For UNHCR's World Refugee Day events in Canada, see Annex 1. Other planned events in Canada can be viewed at www.unhcr.ca/wrd


UNHCR works in 118 countries to provide protection and assistance to an estimated 36.5 million refugees, and other displaced and needy persons. The UN Refugee Agency, which has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950 and has helped more than 50 million people over the past five decades.


                                   Annex 1
                             List of UNHCR events

Vancouver, BC

Date: 18 June 2010

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Event:

11am - 11:45am: A series of short films on refugee issues presented by Amnesty International

11:50am - 12:10pm: Words of Welcome and the Mayor's Proclamation

12:15pm - 12:45pm: Mock Refugee Hearing. Experience the uncertainty and complexity of a refugee hearing

12:50pm - 1:20pm: Interactive Refugee Panel: listen to the stories of refugees and ask questions in this interactive panel

1:30pm - 2:00pm: Mock Refugee Hearing. Experience the uncertainty and complexity of a refugee hearing

2:00pm - 3:00pm: "Gloriously Free," a film presented by Amnesty International. The film delves into true issues of human rights and social freedom through the stories of men and women seeking protection on the basis of their sexual orientation

Venue: Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC.

Organizing Committee: UNHCR, Amnesty International

Contact person: Lesley Stalker

Tel: (604) 666-2151

Toronto, ON

Date: 20 June 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Event: World Refugee Day in collaboration with Luminato - Toronto Festival of Arts, Culture and Creativity

Reading of World Refugee Day Proclamation, Awards Ceremony for UNHCR COSTI Refugees and Human Rights Children/Youth Poetry Contest Winners, World Music Celebration. World Refugee Day on June 20 is being celebrated in collaboration with Luminato' closing day festivities. In honour of this United Nations-designated occasion, the Festival brings together an international roster of artists for a free all-day concert in Queen's Park.

Venue: Queen's Park North, located at Queen's Park Cres. East and Wellesley St.

Date: June 23, 2010

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Event: Turtle House Art/Play Centre ConcertVenue: Trinity-St. Paul 's Centre, 427 Bloor St. West

Organizing Committee: UNHCR, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Canadian Red Cross, COSTI Immigrant Services, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, Soujourn House and Local Immigration Partnership Contact person: Rana KhanTel: (416) 954 - 1188

Ottawa, ON

Date: 16 - 23 June 2010

Event: World Refugee Week

Festival of theatre, dance, media and music featuring 65 works of art, 25 artists, 23 videos, 19 speakers, 13 NGOs & 2 plays.

Venue: Library and Archives Canada

Contact person: Graham Thompson

Tel: 613-253-7007


Montreal, QC

Date: 20 June 2010

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Spiritual celebration "When I needed a neighbor you where there" - 100 years of welcoming refugees for the Montreal City Mission

12:15 p.m.: Cocktail with animation

1:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Official launching of the Centennial years; Speeches on WRD and the Centennial; Premiere of the documentary "The first door" - 20th of history of our shelter for male refugees; Rwanda music and dance

Venue: 463 Ste-Catherine Street West, Montreal, Quebec

Contact person: Sylvain Thibault

Tel: 514-844-9128

For all other planned events across Canada, visit www.unhcr.ca/wrd

SOURCE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

For further information: For further information: Gisèle Nyembwe, 613-232 0909 ext 225, email: nyembwe@unhcr.org

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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