Secretary-General "horrified and heartbroken" over latest refugee deaths

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon records a personal message on the latest loss of lives of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The UN Secretary-General has said he is "horrified and heartbroken" over the latest deaths in Austria and at sea of refugees desperate to reach Europe's shores.

Ban Ki-moon said such countless human tragedies require a collective response from the international community.

Maria Carlino reports.

Much more must be done to ensure the journey across international waters and borders of people fleeing conflict is safe and legal, according to the UN Secretary-General.

Thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean and the Andaman seas this year have died or gone missing.

The grim discovery Thursday of up to 70 people who suffocated inside a truck abandoned at the Austria-Hungary border has left Ban Ki-moon "horrified and heartbroken". 

"This is a human tragedy that requires a determined collective political response. It is a crisis of solidarity, not a crisis of numbers. Let us do all we can to provide people in the most desperate circumstances with a measure of safety and a sense of hope."

Mr Ban said the first priority must be saving lives and providing humanitarian aid.

He appealed to all governments to act with humanity, compassion and in accordance with their international obligations. 

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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