This year the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. One hundred and forty seven nations have signed this agreement and/or the subsequent 1967 Protocol that followed, which stand for the basic principle that those fleeing persecution must be provided refuge and protection. As part of our effort to commemorate the 60th anniversary, we invited former refugees who work for the Department of State to share their stories with us. Not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised when over 20 individuals told us they wanted to tell their deeply moving resettlement stories. You can read three of these stories in the June issue of State Magazine, and many more in a series of DipNote blogs that we will be publishing in the coming weeks as we approach World Refugee Day on June 20. While each story is unique, they convey collectively a deep sense of pride in and deep gratitude toward the United States.
Countries like the United States that welcome refugees enjoy rich sources of new talent, energy, and cultural diversity that invigorate communities, large and small. The United States has resettled over 2.5 million refugees in the past 30 years alone -- more refugees than all other countries combined -- including over 73,000 in 2010. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) reflects our tradition as a nation of immigrants and refugees as well as our highest values and aspirations " of compassion, generosity and leadership in serving vulnerable populations. Moreover, reliance on the support of millions of Americans is a fundamental component of the resettlement program's success --as it has ultimately been local communities that have helped the program to thrive by opening their hearts, homes, and communities to refugees from around the world.
We hope you find the stories of our colleagues as interesting and moving as have we in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.