Canada’s Foreign Minister Marc Garneau announced Monday that the country has committed to welcome 40,000 Afghan refugees, responding to overwhelming calls by the Canadians to do more to resettle more Afghans who do not wish to live under the Taliban rule. (File Photo – Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada)
Garneau made the remarks during his speech at the General Debate of the 76th United Nations General Assembly ‘In Our Hands’.
“For our part, through dedicated asylum policies, Canada will also provide refuge for those who put themselves at personal risk by defending democracy and upholding human rights,” the foreign minister said while speaking about the refugee and humanitarian crises.
Garneau further added “Canadians are a welcoming people. When we saw the tragedy befalling the Syrian people, Canadians opened their hearts and their homes, bonding together to personally help people rebuild their lives. Where some see risk, we see opportunity.”
Pointing towards the successful resettlement of the Syrian refugees in Canadian communities, Garneau said “Syrians have built businesses, raised their children and become part of the fabric of our country – just as many other communities did before them.”
He also added “This is Canada’s competitive advantage. We welcome people in need, but also understand that their hard work, talents and cultures enrich us all. Many come to Canada to flee, and find a place in which they can not only build a new life, but from which to build a better world.”
Addressing the chaos in Afghanistan, Garneau said “Now, faced with a heart wrenching situation in Afghanistan Canadians have once again shown their openness to those who do not wish to live under Taliban rule but prefer to stand up for democracy, human rights and gender equality.”
“In fact, Canadians overwhelmingly called on us to do more. And in response to their generosity and welcoming spirit we have now committed to welcoming 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada – so that they too can contribute to our success, while we continue to support their efforts for a more peaceful, tolerant world,” Garneau concluded.