U.S. President Barack Obama hosted his Leaders’ Summit on Refugees Tuesday, following a U.N. General Assembly on Monday that resulted in adoption of the New York Declaration on refugees and migrants.
Obama’s proposal to increase to 110,000 the number of refugees welcomed to the U.S. next year, from countries across the globe, also includes a 30 percent increase to the United Nations and humanitarian agencies, with an emphasis on education and employment opportunities for youth and the displaced.
Ann Richard, assistant secretary at the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, told the International Business Times that proposal measures reflect the global commitment to the self-sufficiency and dignity of refugees. Obama’s appeal, however, comes as new terrorist attacks in the United States reignite fears of opening the borders to more refugees.
The Obama summit is co-hosted by nations including Ethiopia, which also has raised some controversy among human rights activists who want the U.S. to act to protect the Oromo people.
Olympic Games marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa, currently in exile in the U.S., has raised awareness of human rights issues in Ethiopia that have led to solidarity protests and demonstrations. American and Canadian activists next plan a September 29 rally in Washington, D.C., to demand the U.S. Congress act on a resolution to protect human rights and encourage inclusive governance in Ethiopia.