Will UN summit improve the situation of refugees?

The UN member states at the Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis in New York have agreed to take in 360,000 people displaced by wars and crises. Funding for refugees is also to be raised by 4.5 billion dollars compared to 2015. Commentators agree that the migration crisis calls for a global strategy but criticise that certain states are already reneging on the deal.

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Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

The Danes' double-dealing

While the UN refugee summit backed larger refugee quotas Denmark's liberal integration minister has announced that the country won't take in any more refugees this year. The Nordschleswiger paper is appalled:

“This 'no' is a clear political signal for the country. Meanwhile [Prime Minister] Løkke continues to play the good Dane for the rest of the world. He ratified the new UN refugee declaration at the United Nations. … The signatory nations declare that they want to campaign for resettling more quota refugees. A gentle reminder: the government has just decided not to take in any more quota refugees at all. It is shocking to see how in the battle for a brief spell of being in power in [the seat of government] Christiansborg, in the competition to gain the favour of the the masses, an entire generation of politicians is guilty of recklessly destroying Denmark's international legacy, a small but inspiring contribution to the good of this world.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Tackle the migration crisis globally

Solving the refugee crisis will require a supranational approach, Večernji list believes:

“The main point is that no state can solve the refugee question on its own. That must be understood not by the politicians who seek to gain votes with fear-mongering, but by those who want their country - and their population - to make progress. That is a question that involves Europe as a whole, and not just Hungary, France, Germany or any other individual European country. What's more, it isn't just a European issue but a global one. If you take a look at the waves of migration that are striking fear into the hearts of many people, it is clear that we must address this phenomenon as a continent. ... National policies, national border police or walls cannot stop a global phenomenon. We must reduce poverty and end wars; in other words we must fight the reasons for the waves of migration.”

Expressen (SE) /

Refugee quotas instead of human smuggling

Increasing refugee quotas and providing more aid for refugee camps close to the crisis areas is a sensible and humane move, Expressen concludes:

“Quota refugees are selected by the UNCHR in consultation with the receiving country. They can be resettled directly: this eliminates the need for them to make a dangerous escape across the Mediterranean, deprives refugee smugglers of their business basis and gives women and children a chance because strength and endurance are no longer the decisive factor. People in acute danger will find protection and financial aid sent to places near crisis areas will reach a large number of refugees. Now the donor countries must keep their promises. Sadly this is not always the case. But they are moving in the right direction.”

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

Only the people can prevent nightmare scenario

If the governments refuse to introduce more humane refugee policies the people must do it for them, demands Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, in La Libre Belgique:

“We all hope that in the event of war or persecution we would be able to find refuge somewhere. That is exactly the situation today. If the leaders continue to prevaricate in the face of enormous suffering, we risk finding ourselves in a nightmare world where a growing number of citizens in war-torn areas have nowhere to flee to and are sent back to the war zones they tried to escape from. It is up to all of us to demand that our governments act without further delay to prevent a catastrophic future. It is up to us to demand that they take in refugees. And it is up to our governments to welcome them.”

The Times (GB) /

UK exemplary on helping refugees

At the UN summit in New York British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a stronger distinction to be made between refugees and economic migrants and said that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach. The Times welcomes her proposals:

“Britain has been branded as hard-hearted for taking in smaller numbers than many other EU states. The prime minister is surely right, however, in emphasising that Britain’s focus should be on the front line. It tops the regional donor list ... There is no one-size-fits-all solution to migration. It is a matter of reducing the push and the pull of the movement of people while acknowledging a responsibility to the truly desperate. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, expressed remorse yesterday about opening the gates to a flood of migrants. Britain, like other EU states and the US, could do better. But it can be proud of its assistance so far.”