GENEVA, JAN 14 — The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said Monday it is “deeply shocked and saddened” to hear that the Mayor of the Polish port city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, has died after being stabbed at a charity event.
“Mayor Adamowicz was a deeply courageous, moral leader who showed the way in helping refugees and migrants to integrate,” said Montserrat Feixas Vihe, UNHCR Regional Representative for Central Europe in a statement here.
“He received hate mail for his pro-refugee stance, but he did not weaken in his belief that integration — which brings with it new talents, new skills, new colors, new languages, and a new mentality — was a winning proposition for everyone in his city.”
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues,” said UNHCR.
Adamowicz died Monday after being stabbed at a charity event a day earlier, the Polish Press Agency reported.
Adamowicz launched the Gdansk “Immigrant Integration Model” in 2016, a model that has inspired other Polish cities, said the UN agency.
The agency wrote in February 2018 that the Gdansk Model is a comprehensive program to help refugees and migrants integrate.
The idea was that individuals and institutions in all spheres, from education and culture to labor and health, should actively include refugees. An advisory council, with 13 migrant representatives, including two refugees, kept the mayor abreast of refugee concerns.
Gdansk, with a population of 460,000, is home to some 25,000 refugees and migrants, according to the UNHCR. – XINHUA