UNHCR warns that time is running out for Europe to resolve refugee emergency
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Yesterday's mayhem on the Serbian border with Croatia, which has since closed some entry points, and Wednesday's dramatic situation on the Hungarian border demonstrate the chaos and confusion being caused by the absence of a coherent and united response to Europe's refugee situation.
With more than 442,440 refugees and migrants having arrived via the Mediterranean so far this year, some 2,921 deaths, and 4000 people arriving on the Greek islands daily, the crisis is growing and being pushed from one country to another without solution. The suffering and risks for thousands of refugees and migrants are meanwhile increasing as uncertainty and a lack of information fuels desperation, raises the likelihood of further incidents, and stokes hostility towards people who have fled persecution and conflict and are in need of help. This environment is fertile ground for people-smugglers and others seeking to prey on this vulnerable population.
Against the context of these events UNHCR believes Thursday's decision of the European Parliament to back plans for the relocation of an additional 120,000 people to all countries of the European Union deserves applause. The Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 22 September, and the European Council meeting that has been called for 23rd of September will now be crucially important for coming to agreement. These occasions may be the last opportunity for a positive, united and coherent European response to this crisis.
UNHCR recognizes that Europe is struggling to deal with this situation, and commends the countries and their citizens that have shown willingness to resettle refugees and respond positively to a situation which although challenging is manageable, provided that Europe is united in contributing to an effective response.
UNHCR has this week proposed a number of measures towards the wider goal of helping Europe to collectively resolve this situation, namely:
- The immediate creation of facilities in Greece to receive, assist, register and screen people arriving.
- The immediate start of a process, from Greece and from existing centers in Italy, for the relocation of 40,000 refugees agreed to by the Council to participating EU countries. This should be expanded by additional voluntary pledges by EU states against the new proposals of the European Commission.
- An emergency package from the EU to Serbia to establish a similar capacity to properly assist, register and relocate people to other European countries.
- In parallel, UNHCR urges that there be a substantial increase in opportunities for Syrian refugees hosted in neighboring countries to Syria to access legal channels to the EU including enhanced resettlement and humanitarian admission, family reunification and humanitarian and student visas.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
- In London, Andrej Mahecic on mobile +44 78 8023 0985
- In Tovarnik, Babar Baloch on mobile +36 30 530 9633
- In Vienna, Ruth Schoeffl on mobile +43 699 1459 5307
- In Belgrade, Melita Sunjic on mobile +381 63 343 134
- In Rome, Carlotta Sami, on mobile +39 335 679 47 46
- In Paris, Celine Schmitt on mobile + 33 6 23 16 11 78
- In Athens, Ketty Kehayioylou on mobile +30 694 02 77 485
- In Geneva, Adrian Edwards on mobile +41 79 557 9120
- In Geneva, Melissa Fleming on office no. +41 22 739 7965
Related news and stories
Geneva diners discover new flavours and cultures at pop-up restaurant
Syrian refugees face tough odds in quest for higher education
Former Syrian TV chef whets appetite of Paris fashion fans
In Iraqi camps, Syrians seek respite from hardship of exile
For struggling Syrians in Mauritania, Finland offers fresh hope
Scarred but not broken by six years of conflict in Syria
Your search for « Mediterranean » matched 1206 results. Only the first 1,000 results are displayed. Displaying page 1 of 112 pages.
UNHCR's Special Mediterranean Initiative - Plan for an enhanced operational response - June-December 2015 (16 June 2015)16 Jun 2015 ... SPECIAL MEDITERRANEAN INITIATIVE June – December 2015 Plan for an enhanced operational response ......... 5 The Special Mediterranean Initiative.........
Mediterranean Crisis 2015 at six months: refugee and migrant numbers highest on record1 Jul 2015 ... The large majority of the 137,000 people who crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe during the first six months of 2015 were fleeing from war, conflict or persecution, making the Mediterranean ......
Mediterranean takes record as most deadly stretch of water for refugees and migrants in 201131 Jan 2012 ... went missing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe in 2011. This makes 2011 ... massive number of arrivals in Europe via the Mediterranean, with more than 58,000 people arriving. ......
Mediterranean crossings to Italy and Malta exceed 8000 in first six months of 20135 Jul 2013 ... The Mediterranean is one of the busiest seaways in the world, as well as a dangerous sea frontier ... We also renew our call to all shipmasters in the Mediterranean to remain vigilant and to carry out ......
Mediterranean crossings: Collective action an important first step24 Apr 2015 ... This month's incidents on the Mediterranean, and the more than 1700 deaths and almost 40,000 ... those who crossed the Mediterranean in 2014 were people seeking refuge from wars and persecution. ......
UNHCR's Supplementary Appeal - Special Mediterranean Initiative - June 2015-December 2016 (30 September 2015)30 Sep 2015 ... APPEAL 2015 30 September 2015 Special Mediterranean Initiative June 2015 – December 2016 2 ... financial requirements for the Special Mediterranean Initiative (SMI) from June 2015 to December ......
The 10-Point Plan in action: Chapter 2/Annex 2.6. Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM) Dialogue15 Nov 2012 ... QL-70-07-134-EN-C Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM) Dialogue Towards a Comprehensive Response to ... and Switzerland ISBN 978-92-95018-48-8 Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM) Dialogue Towards a ......
The sea route to Europe: The Mediterranean passage in the age of refugees1 Jul 2015 ... The sea route to Europe: The Mediterranean passage in the age of refugees 1 July 2015 The sea route to Europe: Mediterranean passage in the age of refugees 2 Europe is living through a maritime ......
Press Coverage of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the EU: A Content Analysis of Five European CountriesDec 2015 ... In 2014, more than 200,000 refugees and migrants fled for safety across the Mediterranean Sea. ... report. 3 Introduction: The Crisis in the Mediterranean On August 16 2015 the German Chancellor, ......