The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, asked president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva today for Brazil to lead the effort to combat intolerance towards refugees.
In the commissioner’s view, Brazil is a model of support to refugees and thus has "moral authority" to lead this campaign.
He pointed out that governments and societies need to be made aware that refugees are not criminals or terrorists.
"I made a special appeal to president Lula for him to play a very active role in the campaign against intolerance," Guterres affirmed after a meeting with Lula in the Planalto Palace.
He went on to observe that refugees are not terrorists, but, rather, victims of terrorism. "It is necessary to fight against intolerance, irrationality, xenophobia, and racism."
He commended the job Brazil has done to integrate the nations of South America and the assistance program for refugees who live in the country, especially those from Colombia and Ecuador.