UN Secretary General: Trump's ban violates basic UN principles
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump's executive order barring citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States violates "basic principles" and should be eliminated.
"This is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exists about possibilities of terrorist infiltration," said Guterres in remarks to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
"I don't think this is the effective way to do so, and I think that these measures should be removed sooner rather than later," he added.
He said that if a global terrorist organization wants to attack a country like the United States, probably it will not do so with people holding passports from current conflict zones, noting the sophistication with which such organizations operate.
Guterres said that such a group could send attackers carrying passports from the developed nations or it could use people who are already living within the target country and who, perhaps, have been settled there for decades.
This is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exists about possibilities of terrorist infiltration
The UN chief issued a call to avoid measures that foment tension and rage since they provide recruitment mechanisms for terrorist organizations.
That is why, he said, that the UN pushes strongly for effective border control policies while simultaneously urging that such measures not be founded on discrimination based on nationality, religion or ethnicity.
The UN chief, who initially had reacted to Trump's order during a visit to Ethiopia, expressed himself one day after his spokesman issued a statement criticizing such actions, although no explicit mention was made in it of the United States.
Guterres said that he considered it "important" to make UN doctrine clear regarding its rejection of travel bans on citizens of specific countries.
The secretary-general, who in the past was the top UN official for refugees, noted that "resettlement of refugees is, in many situations, the only possible solution" for many people, including Syrians at this time.
Guterres said that the United States has been one of the countries in the vanguard of efforts to protect refugees and expressed confidence that Washington will "reestablish" that policy, adding that "I hope that the Syrians will not be excluded in that process."