An upcoming UN plan for addressing the unprecedented global refugee crisis could be a game-changer if governments back it up with concrete and long-term commitments, advocacy group Amnesty International said [9 May 2016].
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will publish a report [9 May 2016] proposing a ‘Global Compact on responsibility-sharing’ to create a more predictable and equitable way of responding to large movements of refugees. As part of the ‘Global Compact’ it will also call on governments to resettle at least 10% of the global refugee population (which currently stands at 19.5 million) annually.
“The UN plan could be a game-changer, if it manages to deliver a clear, coordinated system that will ensure that the world’s wealthiest and most powerful countries pull their weight and collectively protect people fleeing war and persecution. But its success will hinge on governments agreeing a permanent system for sharing the responsibility to host and assist refugees ahead of the UN Refugee Summit in September. The ball is in their court,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Deputy Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.
“World leaders cannot go on lurching from crisis to crisis, haggling over numbers and fiddling while parts of the world burn, leaving developing countries to host 86% of the world’s refugees.
“The result is the chaos we see around the world: refugees in shaky boats, trapped at border fences or crammed into overcrowded camps where hopes and dreams wither. Too often, these scenes of despair are borne not just from war and persecution but also of bad, callous policies. A comprehensive system that clearly sets out the responsibility of each country before the crisis becomes acute could fix that.”
Amnesty International also released recommendations including five key elements needed to make the Global Compact on responsibility-sharing effective.