EU lead­ers call for global refugee quo­tas at United Na­tions event


Euro­pean lead­ers are urg­ing U. N. mem­ber states to in­tro­duce global refugee quo­tas to stem the cri­sis that has forced thou­sands to flee their homes in search of safety.

Ad­dress­ing on Wed­nes­day a high- level meet­ing on mi­gra­tion on the side­lines of the U. N. Gen­eral Assem­bly, Sec­re­taryGen­eral Ban Ki- moon stressed the need for re­spon­si­bil­ity shar­ing among na­tions, call­ing on states to “sig­nif­i­cantly boost” the num­ber of refugee re­set­tle­ment places and to “share eq­ui­tably in this ef­fort.”

Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban said that Europe will not be able to carry the bur­den of the cri­sis on its own and needs a global quota sys­tem to en­sure a fair dis­tri­bu­tion of peo­ple who qual­ify for asy­lum.

Europe, he added, doesn’t have an obli­ga­tion to give refugees a “new Euro­pean life,” but it has a “moral re­spon­si­bil­ity” to help them “re­gain their lives back home.”

Echo­ing the re­marks of his Hun­gar­ian coun­ter­part, Malta’s Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Muscat called for the es­tab­lish­ment of “a Bret­ton Woods sys­tem of mi­gra­tion,” re­fer­ring to the Bret­ton Woods sum­mit in 1944, which pro­vided the ba­sis for the mod­ern sys­tem of cen­tral bank­ing and for­eign ex­change as well as the cre­ation of the World Bank, then called the In­ter­na­tional Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment, and the IMF.

Muscat also stressed that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing that global mi­gra­tion quo­tas aren’t “de­cided by crim­i­nals and smug­glers,” but by demo­crat­i­cally elected lead­ers.

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists af­ter the meet­ing, An­to­nio Guter­res, the U. N. High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees, praised Or­ban’s pro- posal for a global refugee quota sys­tem as high­light­ing “uni­ver­sal re­spon­si­bil­ity” for peo­ple flee­ing vi­o­lence and per­se­cu­tion.

The In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion says a record num­ber of peo­ple have crossed the Mediter­ranean into Europe this year, strain­ing the 28- na­tion Euro­pean Union and prompt­ing a rash of bor­der clo­sures.

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