For United Nations Day, I decided to post a poem entitled Refugees by Brian Bilston. I came across it on Facebook in 2018, though the author first posted in March 2016. It was buried in my email until now.
It is used with permission of the author. As he says, “Please bear with it.”
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read from bottom to top)
Here’s the Secretary-General’s Message from 2018;
United Nations Day marks the birthday of our founding Charter – the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of “we the peoples”.
Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to that Charter.
Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up.
Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing.
Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.
Climate change is moving faster than we are, but we don’t give up because we know that climate action is the only path.
Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace.
Conflicts are multiplying – people are suffering. But we don’t give up because we know every man, woman, and child deserves a life of peace.
On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment.
To repair broken trust.
To heal our planet.
To leave no one behind.
To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.
- António Guterres
See also the Refugee Rights section from the Human Rights Watch page.