Saturday, February 6, 2016

Migration and multilateralism will be hallmarks of 2016, says senior UN official

The world is facing a political, economic, moral and social crisis as governments and communities struggle to provide effective solutions for the unprecedented numbers of people fleeing war, instability or persecution, the top United Nations migration official said today, calling for deceive multilateral action to tackle “the global issues lurking behind today’s vast movement of people.”

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, said today in Geneva that 2016 “is the year of migration and multilateralism,” and that series of comprehensive initiatives is needed to drive home – and effectively address – the global nature of the issue.

Indeed, he told reporters, while there has been an understandable focus on migrants arriving on the shores of European countries, this has often obscured the fact that the global dimensions of the phenomenon are very real; 85 per cent of the total numbers of global migrants are moving from developing to developing country.

Yet the response in Europe, for instance to the crisis in Syria, has at times sparked “incipient nationalism,” which is evidenced in xenophobic and racist reactions rather than anything to address the challenges of free movement of people, he said. “But this is not just a European issue, we’ve seen this in the Andaman Sea, in Asia […] in movements from Latin America into North America,” said Mr. Sutherland........

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