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Syrian refugees pick cucumbers in Baalbek, Lebanon

Syrian refugee women, who fled with their family from the city of Raqqa, Syria, pick cucumbers in a field, in the eastern city of Baalbek, Lebanon, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The U.N. children’s agency says the European Union has donated 90 million euros ($100.3 million) that will help provide critical services and support to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. UNICEF said in a statement Tuesday that the donation on World Refugee Day will help it along with host countries to provide hundreds of thousands of children and young people with access to education, vocational training and psychological support. (Photo: Bilal Hussein/AP)

World Refugee Day 2017

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that if the United States disengages from many issues confronting the international community it will be replaced — and that won’t be good for America or for the world.

Guterres made clear to reporters at his first press conference here since taking the reins of the United Nations on Jan. 1 that proposed cuts in U.S. funding for the U.N. would be disastrous and create “an unsolvable problem to the management of the U.N.”

The secretary-general, who served as U.N. high commissioner for refugees for 10 years, chose World Refugee Day for the press conference and appealed to all U.N. member states not to refuse entry to those seeking asylum and deserving protection.

He also urged rich countries to do much more to support the 80 percent of the world’s refugees living in the developing world — and to increase the number of refugees they will give new homes to.

The United States is “by far the largest resettlement country in the world” with a “very generous and positive policy,” Guterres said.

But Trump is moving to significantly reduce the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States, even as his bid to temporarily suspend admissions is stalled in the courts. His budget proposal calls for a 25 percent cut in funds for resettling refugees on American soil.

Guterres said he has strongly encouraged the United States “to come back to the levels of resettlement that we witnessed until two or three years ago.” (AP)

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