Monday, October 26, 2015

Top UN official on refugees welcomes EU agreement on plan for Western Balkans migration route

UN, 26 October 2015 – As European leaders met this week to hammer out a 17-point plan of action on the Western Balkans migration route for refugees and migrants fleeing Syria and other strife-torn regions, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees commended the fact that a consensus had been reached.

“It is absolutely vital for me that Europe, the European Union (EU) remain a continent of asylum; that the sustainability of Europe’s protection of refugees is guaranteed,” said António Guterres, speaking at a press conference on the Western Balkans Migration Route agreement in Brussels yesterday.

Mr. Guterres also said that Europe’s protection of refugees must be a “project of all European countries,” with the “will to receive refugees coming from troubled areas,” while also noting the importance of adequate registration capacities in “hotspot” areas for the registration and screening of refugees, as well as to facilitate interaction with their countries of relocation.

  • The High Commissioner added that he was concerned by the approach of winter, which would make “movement chaotic through the Balkans,” and warned of the need to “facilitate humanitarian assistance to avoid the tragedy that could occur in the winter” because of harsh conditions.

Referring to the 17-point plan of action on the Western Balkans route, he said that there was also a consensus about a clear distinction between refugees and migrants, noting that “there are people in need of protection – those that are considered refugees. It is not an option to receive them or not.

Europe has the obligation to receive them, to grant them protection and assistance and to guarantee their future.” He also noted that “people that move for other reasons” should have their “dignity and human rights fully respected.”

Mr. Guterres also said that the consensus among those present at the meeting on the migration route was “an important contribution to allow for the right bodies of the EU to take decisions that are needed,” which will not only lead to effective management of the refugee crisis but would also “guarantee the union and stability of European institutions.”

The meeting was convened by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and brought together the countries concerned and most affected by the emergency situation along the Western Balkans route.

The leaders representing Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia met in Brussels at the Commission's Berlaymont Headquarters and agreed to improve cooperation and step up consultation between the countries along the route and decided on pragmatic operational measures that can be implemented as of today to tackle the refugee crisis in the region.
  • Balkans skeptical of EU migrant relief plan ...

Southeast European countries facing an unprecedented influx of migrants reacted cautiously Monday to new EU plans to help ease the crisis, following an emergency mini-summit on Sunday.

The European Union (EU) pledged to help set up 100,000 reception centers along the migrant route through the Balkans in a bid to defuse rising tensions on its eastern frontier as tens of thousands pass through the region on their way to northern Europe.

A 17-point plan announced after emergency talks between the heads of 10 EU nations and non-EU Albania, Serbia and FYROM*** included a stipulation that no country will let migrants through to an adjoining state without first getting the agreement of its neighbor.

Another key element of the plan is to speed up information exchanges between countries to coordinate their efforts.

"It is crucial that commitments are fulfilled in practice. If that does not happen from [Monday] on, the situation will not improve significantly," Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar told reporters after the meeting.

"In such a case, we continue along the path that I referred to at my arrival," he said, in reference to his comments ahead of the summit that the EU would start "falling apart" without immediate, concrete actions.

Tensions have grown after Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia warned over the weekend they could close their borders in order to avoid becoming a "buffer zone" for the streams of people entering Europe every day.

FYROM*** President Gjorge Ivanov warned that his tiny Balkan nation, a key transit state, could host a maximum of 2,000 migrants if crossing points were shut down.

"We can only be a transit country. FYROM*** has no capacity to be able to keep a larger number of refugees on its territory if the corridor is closed," Ivanov told journalists after the meeting in Brussels.

He also said FYROM*** has "no financial aid" and suffers from "a lack of valuable information," as it is not an EU member.

***[After the necessary corrections with the name "FYROM"]

***[GREECE recognized this country with the name "FYROM"]
***[UN  resolution A/RES/47/225 of 8 April 1993]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Only News

Featured Post

US Democratic congresswoman : There is no difference between 'moderate' rebels and al-Qaeda or the ISIS

United States Congresswoman and Democratic Party member Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday revealed that she held a meeting with Syrian Presiden...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin