14 September 2015
The Socialist International calls on the EU to reach a speedy agreement on a fair and humane plan for accommodating the continuing flow of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing conflict zones. While it is important to recognise that this is an issue of global dimension and requires that countries from all continents assume their fair share of responsibility, it is crucial for Europe today to act in line with the values, the spirit of solidarity and of common progress upon which the EU was founded with the participation of our movement, and in keeping with its moral and legal obligations.
The current global displacement of tens of millions of human beings as a result of conflict, repression or hunger is a shared burden of humanity. However, a large part of this burden is presently borne disproportionately by poorer countries. The mass movement of people, as recent years have shown, is not abating. On the contrary, it has grown and continues to grow on an ever increasing scale. The ongoing conflicts affecting numerous countries of the Middle East are indications that this phenomenon has no end in sight. And the dire living conditions in the poorest parts of the world or where people are suffering from repression will lead to continued migration on a large scale for the foreseeable future.
At the SI Council meeting held at the UN in Geneva in December 2014 António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and former President of the Socialist International, warned that the humanitarian system was reaching breaking point. He also stressed the crucial need to tackle the root causes that create humanitarian problems, which urgently needed to be addressed from a political perspective.
The Socialist International remains committed to promoting political solutions to this crisis, convinced that political action is the only way to achieve the conditions necessary for peace, democracy and equality. This position has been borne out at the numerous meetings of its Migrations Committee, its regional committees and its Councils, the most recent of which, held at the UN headquarters in New York, adopted unanimously a Charter for the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers to which all its member parties worldwide subscribe.
Today we reiterate our call made in April this year to all those with responsibility in Europe to act immediately and effectively, and as we said then: “Europe needs to act, if only to save itself, because no progress, economic wellbeing or a land of plenty can exist alongside want, fear or death.”