UN Refugee and Migrant Summit: Step of goodwill, but falls short on action to protect refugees

UN Refugee and Migrant Summit: Step of goodwill, but falls short on action to protect refugees

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NEW YORK—(September 19, 2016)-- World leaders gathered today for the first ever UN Refugee and Migrant Summit to formally adopt a UNGA resolution for addressing the global refugee crisis. This was a positive step of goodwill, but what was supposed to be a moment when the world finally took a stand to protect and strengthen the rights of refugees, instead fell incredibly short on concrete commitments needed to meet the global threshold of need, says CARE.

We are facing the highest displacement ever on record, yet UN member states are failing to even uphold commitments to protect the rights of refugees that were made after World War II. More must be done to ensure refugees are provided legal routes to safety when fleeing conflict.

The recognition of women and girls as potentially powerful agents of change is particularly important. We also welcome the acknowledgement of civil society actors as critical to any solutions moving forward.

This is progress, but the “commitments” made by UN member states are recorded more as considerations, allowing states to backslide from acting on bold statements. UN member states must be held accountable to fulfilling their commitments. Rather than shift responsibility, UN member states must share the responsibility. This includes addressing the root causes of conflicts, increased support to countries hosting refugees and commitments to resettle 10 percent of the global refugee population by the end of the year.

The status quo cannot continue. Too many people are living in limbo. Too many lives have been lost.

Today’s historic Summit shows that the world has finally awakened to the massive global displacement, but these words must turn into swift action. We are hopeful that will begin with more concrete commitments made tomorrow as President Obama convenes member states again at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees.

Click here to learn more on CARE’s Global Refugee Response.


Media contact: Holly Frew    hfrew@care.org    +1.770.842.6188

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.


Credit: Johanna Mitscherlich/CARE