Today, 19 September, the UN General Assembly is hosting a historic high-level summit addressing the large movement of refugees and migrants at its headquarters in New York (USA). Here heads of states and governments from all regions of the world, as well as international observers, will work toward a more coordinated approach to growing worldwide refugee crises.
International church and civil society representatives hope that the summit and its outcomes will motivate improved and more humane government responses toward the world’s estimated 65 million refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people.
“Our hope is that states recommit themselves to a UN-led response to the refugee crisis and accept sharing of international responsibility for the protection of refugees. Tackling root causes requires resolving current cruel conflicts and working towards justice and peace. At the same time, countries hosting the vast majority of refugees need to be assisted, and higher numbers of refugees have to be resettled,” remarked Doris Peschke, general secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. “The commitment towards a better international migration framework, which shall be elaborated in the coming two years, needs to be based on the human rights of migrants and decrease vulnerabilities.”
In advance of the summit, CCME along with ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches, and the Churches Witnessing With Migrants, issued a joint statement calling for concrete results in New York. They called on world leaders to address the root causes of large-scale forced movements, support sustainable and equitable development, and reaffirm existing international human rights laws.
Faith groups in Scotland are calling for a coordinated response to the refugee crisis and upholding the dignity of every person. This must include honouring quota systems, sharing responsibility, and reducing human smuggling and trafficking by offering safe and legal pathways into Europe.
To read the full text of the joint ACT Alliance/WCC/CCME/CWWM statement, please click here.
To learn more about the summit and access background documents and other resources, please click here.