UN: UN chief tasks international community on new compact on refugees, migrants

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said that, despite
bold efforts, responses to the large movements of refugees and migrants will continue
or possibly increase due to such issues as conflict, poverty and disasters,

Presenting a new report, entitled: "In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements
of Refugees and Migrants", at the UN General Assembly in New York, Ban called for
the adoption of a global compact on responsibility-sharing that collectively ensures
the human rights, safety and dignity of all refugees and migrants.

"Away from the daily headlines and stark images, strains are quietly accumulating on
refugees and migrants, as well as on countries and communities that receive them,
sometimes for many years," he  stressed.

He stated: "If one lesson can be drawn from the past few years, it is that individual
countries cannot solve these issues on their own. International cooperation and
action to address large movements of refugees and migrants must be strengthened."

The UN chief noted that, any approach should uphold the safety and dignity in large
movements of both refugees and migrants, urging UN member states to, among
other things, address the root causes of such movements, protect people en route
and at borders, and prevent discrimination and promote inclusion.

In his report, Ban also called on UN member states to adopt a global compact on
responsibility-sharing for refugees.

He stressed the need to recognize that large movements of refugees as a result
of emerging and unresolved conflicts are "profoundly" affecting individuals and
member states, sometimes for protracted periods of time, as well as the need to
commit to sharing responsibility for hosting refugees more fairly.

In addition, he called on member states to undertake a State-led process to
elaborate an international cooperation framework on migrants and human
mobility, in the form of a global compact for safe, regular and orderly migration,
and to hold an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018
to adopt the global compact.

The secretary-general also emphasized that the UN General Assembly high-level
meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, to be held
on 19 September, will be a "unique opportunity" for world leaders to strengthen
and implement existing frameworks, as well as agree on new approaches to
address the issue.

Ban also said that, "UN member states must find ways to govern their national
borders effectively while protecting the human rights of all refugees and

"The risks of inaction are considerable. If this opportunity to reinforce respect
for international law, put into place new approaches and strengthen common
responses is not seized, there will likely be greater loss of life and heightened
tensions among member states and within communities," he said.

The UN chief said: "The high-level meeting will be the culmination of several
international initiatives in response to global refugee and migrant crises."

Ban also expressed hope that the meeting will not only galvanize the pledges
made at earlier events, but also build on those commitments to address the
underlying causes and to strengthen the collective responses to large
movements of refugees and migrants.

"The components needed for a comprehensive solution are at hand, and the
required conventions, frameworks and tools are in place, although some
need wider acceptance and all need to be fully implemented," he concluded.

Meanwhile, in an opinion piece published by the US-based newspaper,
Huffington Post on Monday, the UN chief said that his report is meant to
help the international community seize the opportunity that will be provided
by the high-level meeting in September.

Ban noted that more than 60 million people – half of them children – have
fled violence or persecution and are now refugees and internally displaced

He also stressed that an additional 225 million are migrants who have left
their countries in search of better opportunities or simply for survival,
stating: "But this is not a crisis of numbers, it is a crisis of solidarity."

"We can afford to help, and we know what we need to do to handle large
movements of refugees and migrants.Yet too often, we let fear and
ignorance get in the way. Human needs end up overshadowed, and
xenophobia speaks louder than reason," he wrote.
-0-  PANA  AA  9May2016

09 may 2016 22:13:15

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