News comment: Death of former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers

Former High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, who had led the UN refugee agency from 2001 to 2005, passed away in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, yesterday.

“Mr. Lubbers was a powerful advocate for refugees, displaced and stateless people, with a strong personal commitment to the refugee cause,” said High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, who received the news of Ruud Lubbers’ death while on mission in Turkey.

Mr. Lubbers led the organization through a period in which millions of refugees found solutions, including through voluntary repatriation to Angola and countries in West Africa. He made a particular contribution to the Afghanistan operation, visiting the country several times during a period when millions were able to return home.

Mr. Lubbers leaves behind his wife, Ria, and three children, to whom we extend our deepest condolences.

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