The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed the commitments made on Monday, 28 August at the Paris Summit on Migration and Asylum.
At the initiative of France, the leaders of seven countries – Chad, Niger, Libya, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the High Representative of the European Union met at the Elysée to discuss the migratory crisis common to Europe and Africa.
In a joint statement, the leaders of these countries recalled the fundamentals “of a comprehensive approach to migration and asylum”. This roadmap aims, inter alia, to strengthen support for transit countries in Africa and to combat migrant trafficking.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, welcomed the announcement of a comprehensive plan of action for “supporting long-term solutions to the complex problem of mixed migration and the resolution of its root causes, in close cooperation with countries of origin and transit, and in accordance with international law “.
UNHCR believes that measures aimed simply at slowing down the number of arrivals do not provide solutions to the problem of forced migration. “A coherent approach must include a strong and determined set of actions to ensure lasting peace in conflict-affected countries as well as social and economic development in the countries of origin,” Grandi warned in a statement.
The UN agency also welcomed the renewed commitment to support relief efforts for people at risk in the sea and in the desert. “Saving human lives must remain a top priority in response efforts, along with vigorous repression of human smugglers,” said the High Commissioner.
In this regard, UNHCR recalls that many people flee war or persecution. “I welcome the affirmation of several States today on the need to provide international protection for these people,” Grandi said.
According to the High Commissioner, it is essential to allow access and strengthen asylum systems in all countries of asylum and transit. “Political stability and security in Libya are particularly important in enabling access to thousands of refugees and stranded migrants in Libya,” he said.
The UNHCR recalled that most refugees and migrants are currently suffering serious human rights violations and living in unacceptable conditions.
The UN refugee agency welcomed the pledge made at the Paris Summit to provide more resettlement places for people in need of international protection from all regions along the Central Mediterranean route, to accelerate the EU process for relocation from Italy and Greece. “Additional legal channels are also needed, including facilitated family reunification,” Grandi said. “All these positive advances need to be rapidly implemented and expanded,” he concluded.