The theme for Refugee Week Wales 2012 is "Celebrating the Spirit of Welcome in Wales" and Jane Hutt said that Wales should be proud of the warm welcome it offers refugees.
Jane Hutt said:
"Wales has a long proud tradition of offering a warm welcome to refugees. This tradition of welcome is particularly important for people who come to Wales seeking asylum, many of whom have had to leave behind family and friends.
"It is very difficult to start a new life in a new country often without a support network and particularly when you have left in difficult circumstances. We will continue to work with partners in the voluntary sector and refugee communities to ensure the diverse needs of asylum seekers and refugees are met here in Wales.
"Modern day Wales is a society built on diverse and multi-cultural communities with people from a whole host of different backgrounds with unique characteristics and experiences. I strongly believe that this is what makes Wales such a vibrant nation."
The Welsh Government published its Refugee Inclusion Strategy Action Plan in July 2011. Since then work has been ongoing to take forward the actions contained in the Action Plan not only by the Welsh Government but by organisations such as the Welsh Refugee Council, Wales Migration Partnership, Displaced People in Action, UK Border Agency and Supporting Others Through Volunteering Action. The Action Plan has now been updated incorporating the work carried out to date.
Jane Hutt added:
"Some of the objectives in the Action Plan will take longer to deliver than others but we will continue to work with partner organisations to achieve the overall aim of supporting and enabling refugees to rebuild their lives in Wales and to be able to make a full contribution to Welsh Society."