UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged all governments involved to provide comprehensive responses, expand safe and legal channels of migration and act with humanity, compassion and in accordance with their international obligations.
“I commend those leaders and communities who have stepped up to our shared responsibilities and obligations. But much more is required,” he said in a statement on recent refugee and migrant tragedies that claimed many lives, including eight of Bangladesh nationals, in Libya, UNB reports.
Ban Ki-moon said he is horrified and heartbroken at the latest loss of lives of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe.
“This is a human tragedy that requires a determined collective political response. It’s a crisis of solidarity, not a crisis of numbers,” said the UN chief in the statement issued on August 28.
Yesterday, the UN Secretary General, said he saw the grim discovery of the bodies of more than 70 people inside a truck abandoned near the Austrian border with Hungary and reports indicate that many of the victims were Syrian asylum seekers, including children.
“Let’s also remember: the high number of refugees and migrants are a symptom of deeper problems - endless conflict, grave violations of human rights, tangible governance failures and harsh repression. The Syrian war, for example, has just been manifested on a roadside in the heart of Europe,” he said.
In addition to upholding responsibilities, the international community must also show greater determination in resolving conflicts and other problems that leave people little choice but to flee, he said.
Failing that, the numbers of those displaced - more than 40,000 per day - will only rise, he mentioned.
The UN chief said these issues will be an area of focus and priority when world leaders gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York next month for the opening of the General Assembly. “I’m organizing a special meeting devoted to these global concerns on September 30,” he mentioned.
On Friday, the United Nations refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe has surpassed 300,000 this year, up from 219,000 during the whole of 2014.
“Some 2,500 refugees and migrants are estimated to have died or gone missing this year while attempting the crossing to Europe - compared to 3,500 who died or went missing in the Mediterranean in 2014,” said Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
This number, which includes almost 200,000 people landing in Greece and 110,000 in Italy, represents a substantial increase from last year.
“In the last few days,” Fleming continued, “More people have lost their lives in three separate incidents.”