The UN Secretary-General has welcomed news that the Olympic Games will this year feature a team consisting of refugees for the first time in its history.

Speaking in Geneva on Saturday, Mr Ban said that for the first time in history, "talented athletes who have been forced to flee their homes will get a chance to chase gold".

"Their fellow refugees will see outstanding contenders who give hope to all," he said. "And the world will see refugees the way they deserve to be seen: as talented, strong and inspiring people."

Mr Ban also used the occasion to call on the international community to find "lasting solutions" to the current refugee crisis. "Refugees want homes, not tents," he said. "They want a flag that waves for their lives. And they deserve a world that gives them more than assistance; they deserve a world that is at peace. Let us all be on the team of refugees until there is no need for a refugee team at all."

The International Olympic Committee has previously announced there would be a team of refugee athletes at the Rio Olympics which will be treated like all other 206 national teams. The team, whose official name will be Team Refugee Olympic Athletes, will march behind the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony.

Thomas Bach, IOC president, said in March this year that the IOC wanted to "send a message of hope for all refugees in our world". "Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem. They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes from 206 national Olympic committees in the Olympic village."

The IOC said late last month that a team of between five to 10 athletes will be members of the team.