Europe assured of UN support in tackling migration crisis

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Ban Ki-moon last month recorded a personal message following the deaths of  refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Europe has been assured of the United Nations's continued support as the continent addresses a migration crisis.

Thousands of people who had fled conflict zones  crossed into Austria and Germany from Hungary over the weekend.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday spoke on the phone with several European leaders, according to information provided by his spokesperson.

He urged them "to be the voice of those in need of protection."

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General appealed to European leaders to quickly find a joint approach to the migration issue and to share this responsibility equitably.

Mr Ban commended them for voicing concern about increasing xenophobia, discrimination and violence against migrants and refugees.

He also underlined the UN's readiness to continue supporting their efforts to develop a response to the crisis that is "effective, feasible and in line with universal human rights and humanitarian standards."

This, he added, includes the right to asylum.

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has praised Austria and Germany which this weekend received thousands of migrants and refugees who had crossed the border from Hungary.

A statement from the agency described the decision as "political leadership based on humanitarian values."

However, UNHCR also stressed the need for an emergency plan to manage the crisis.

Agency chief António Guterres recently outlined a plan calling for new asylum processing centres in Italy, Greece and Hungary–main entry points for people fleeing to Europe.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

 

 

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