Source: The Citizen
The landmark UN summit on refugees and migrants was supposed to help resettle one in ten refugees, instead UN member states have settled for vague gestures, including a campaign to end xenophobia. Human rights organisations and humanitarian actors alike have expressed disappointment with an outcome document agreed upon by member states in advance of the summit, which falls short of creating a binding, comprehensive framework to protect migrants and refugees. “If global leaders adopt a resolution with some nice language – but so lacking in concrete commitments it fails to make any real difference to the lives of those fleeing war and conflict – they are merely fiddling while Rome burns,” Richard Bennett, Head of Amnesty’s Office at the United Nations, told IPS. They say that the UN’s richer member states are missing a crucial opportunity to tackle xenophobia and racism by actually resettling refugees within their own borders. “When you actually speak to refugees, the men with Kalashnikovs are pushing them away, but the men in suits are running away,” Arvinn Gadgil Director of Partnerships and Policy at the Norwegian Refugee Council told IPS. “There seemed to be an appetite from member states to actually find a mechanism for responsibility sharing. Now – perhaps naively – we thought that was true, and we are of course disappointed. That was the one key output from the summit that we now seem not to be able to get,” said Gadgil.