Messages from Vienna and Oslo Mayors on World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day, which celebrates and honour refugees from all across the world, was marked this week. Mayors of Vienna and Oslo, cities which have a long history of human rights work around the world, sent special messages on this occasion.

Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig stated on social media that this year’s World Refugee Day was marked by the ongoing war in Ukraine, which started after Russia’s invasion on Ukraine by land on February 24th.

Mayor Ludwig wrote: ‘’Currently, this conflict shows how important it is to deal with refugees properly. As a human rights city and the only UN seat in the EU, Vienna plays a special role in this issue. We as the City of Vienna help on two levels together with charitable organizations and civil society. As a human rights city, we stand on the side of those affected.’’

In Norway, another significant event occurred on June 20. On this day back in 1922, the Norwegian explorer, diplomat and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of displaced people and refugees in the aftermath of WW1.

Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen stated on social media: ‘’Fridtjof Nansen is best known as a polar explorer, but he was also a true pioneer in the work of helping refugees and the starving.’’

‘’The work Nansen did by speaking out on behalf of the most vulnerable ones and securing the rights of refugees and stateless people is something we must now be inspired by. We must help those who are on the run! Norway as a nation of peace and an important humanitarian actor must be aware of how we manage the legacy of Nansen,’’ she continued.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the World Refugee Day was initially established on June 20, 2001 by the United Nations. (photo credit: Freepik)