TED Book: Rescue

Refugees and displaced people have lost everything. But the refugee crisis is not just about 'them'; it is also about 'us'—what we, living in far greater comfort, stand for and how we see our place in the world. It is a test of our character, not just our policies. Pass the test, and we rescue ourselves and our values as well as refugees and their lives.

TED Book: Rescue

Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of our Time

by David Miliband
We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. As the head of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband has first-hand insight on the state of our current refugee crisis, what every day people can do about it, and how, by aiding refugees, we affirm the essential values of a global society.

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About the book

TED Book: Rescue

Rescue addresses on of the most challenging questions facing the word today: how to cope with the rising tide of people forced to leave their homes by conflict.

Rescue is about the lives of 65 million people displaced by war in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Congo. It explains why they are feeling their homes; what conditions they are living in; and what should be done to help them. It is a call for international compassion and international action to meet a truly global problem.

But this book is also about us. What we in western countries stand for; what we reveal about ourselves in our reaction to the global refugee crisis; what it says when western countries say they will admit refugees; and what is says when they say they won't.

There are more refugees and displaced people than every before. They are dying in greater numbers than ever in transit to safety. They are more mistrusted in the countries to which they are heading. They are accused of plotting terrorism, are blamed for Brexit. Refugees are walled out of Europe; refugees are called terrorists during a Presidential campaign. These catcalls, and actions, are a far cry from the liberal, enlightened internationalism of the period after the second world war. And so the need for this book does not only arise from the global needs around the world, but also the increasingly toxic approach to refugees in western countries.


About the author

David Miliband is President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in 26 United States cities.

Under Miliband’s leadership, the IRC has expanded its ability to rapidly respond to humanitarian crises and meet the needs of an unprecedented number of people uprooted by conflict, war and disaster. The organization is implementing an ambitious global strategy to bring clear outcomes, strong evidence and systematic research to the humanitarian programs through collaborative partnerships with the public and private sectors.

From 2007 to 2010, Miliband was the 74th Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, driving advancements in human rights and representing the U.K. throughout the world. Miliband graduated from Oxford University in 1987 with a first class honors degree in philosophy, politics and economics, and received a master’s degree in political science in 1989 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Kennedy Scholar.

Miliband’s parents fled to Britain from continental Europe during World War II and its aftermath. As the son of refugees, he brings a personal commitment to the IRC's work. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Louise Shackelton, and their two sons.

TED Book author: David Miliband