UN observes World Refugee Day
New York: The UN has observed the World Refugee Day on Wednesday.
"As in past years, landmarks around the world are being illuminated in United Nations blue," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here on Wednesday at a news briefing.
"(Those include) the Colosseum in Rome, the Empire State Building in New York, and the CN Tower in Toronto," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement: "World Refugee Day is a moment to remember all those affected, and time to intensify our support."
An estimated 42 million people are displaced from their homes worldwide.
Recent reports from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimate that about 800,000 people were forced to forcibly flee their homes in 2011.
According to the agency, this is the largest amount of displaced people they have seen since the first World Refugee Day was observed in 2000.
The UN chief noted that some refugees are facing decades of exile.
"Kenya's third biggest city is a refugee camp, and hosts over half a million Somalis, many in their third decade of exile," said the UN chief in the statement issued by his office.
"Niger, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso -- suffering famine and drought -- now host some 175,000 refugees fleeing conflict in Mali."