UN refugee chief: Ukraine crisis should be resolved at General Assembly

The UN Refugee Agency chief has called on leaders attending the UN General Assembly to find solutions to the ongoing refugee crisis in Ukraine and elsewhere.

In an interview with NHK on Sunday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, attending the world body's meeting in New York, expressed deep concern over the situation of displaced people in Ukraine.

He said he has worked for the United Nations for over 30 years, but cannot remember any other time when the organization had to face so many problems simultaneously, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

He said the war in Ukraine is the biggest crisis, having had impacts all over the world in terms of economy, finance, energy and food security.

The refugee chief said the agency is worried about the upcoming winter, given that millions of people in Ukraine do not have a roof or a proper house or shelter.

He said the continuation of a violent war in eastern and southern Ukraine is continuing to displace people, and they need to be cared for.

Grandi said the current UN Security Council has become dysfunctional as major powers remain divided on key issues, and the council is no longer capable of resolving conflicts around the world.

He described the General Assembly as "one moment of opportunity to open up new solutions," and stressed that it is the job of leaders to find solutions, which are often political, that allow people to return to their homes.