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WATCH: UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi on “abysmal failure that Syria represents for the international community”

“The industrialized world … the rich world, can take more refugees,” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi during a recent event at Brookings. “The matter is how to do this in a manner that is well managed and doesn’t send … the impression of chaos that is now conveyed by the images we see on TV of Greece and other places,” he continued.

High Commissioner Grandi’s remarks came during an event hosted by the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. The event began with Bruce Jones, the vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, introducing High Commissioner Grandi, who offered his assessment on the current refugee situation in the Middle East and around the world, resettlement advantages, and strategies for the future. He then joined Brookings Visiting Fellow Robert McKenzie for a discussion about the refugee situation around the world.

High Commissioner Grandi reflected on the fifth anniversary of the start of the civil war in Syria, stating that “if there is anything that we should attach to this anniversary [it is] a reflection on the incredible, on the abysmal failure that Syria represents for the international community.” Watch:

The high commissioner also spoke about the issue of refugee resettlement, saying that because “refugees are a global problem … the responsibility to respond should also be global.” Watch:

During the discussion following the high commissioner’s remarks, McKenzie asked about burden sharing, about whether “there needs to be a healthier and more robust discussion within the international community about burden sharing.”

“Definitely,” High Commissioner Grandi replied. Watch:

Get full event video here.

Jonathan Bosworth contributed to this post.

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