New European approach needed to handle refugee crisis in Europe

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres (right) greets French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (left). © UNHCR/A. Lechat

A new system is needed to protect and process the influx of asylum seekers flooding into Europe, according to Antonio Guterres, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Mr Guterres spoke at a joint press conference in Geneva with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve about the refugee crisis.

Maria Carlino reports.

To successfully deal with the growing number of refugees reaching Europe's shores, a new system to fight human traffickers, protect victims and allow people to apply for asylum legally is needed, according to the UN refugee commissioner. 

Antonio Guterres said the current system in Europe is dysfunctional and leaders must do more to fight racism against the asylum-seekers, most of which come from Syria. 

"I'd like to underline the importance of the recent common declaration of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande in relation to the need for an effective European approach namely to the plight of the Syrian refugees and also to pay tribute to the enormous courage with which the German political leaders have fought against the manifestations of xenophobia that have recently emerged, the kind of courage that I believe we need from political leaders everywhere in today's world." 

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said France and Germany are committed to handling the influx of refugees and pressing the rest of Europe to move faster on the issue. 

Mr Cazeneuve also called for an EU reception centre to process claims of asylum seekers under decent conditions.

Maria Carlino, United Nations. 

Duration: 1'13"

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