Round table on flight and migration: Steinmeier meets heads of international organisations

Tackling the reasons why people flee, helping refugees in need, putting a stop to people smugglers, integrating people in need of protection and, where possible, helping people to return home – how can the international community address these Herculean tasks?

Steinmeier and representatives of refugee organisations at a joint press conference

Steinmeier and representatives of refugee organisations at a joint press conference

War, starvation and oppression force people to leave their homes behind. There are currently 65 million refugees worldwide. This figure shows clearly that the global movements of migrants will remain a challenge on an unprecedented scale.

“In view of the huge task facing us, we cannot afford to rest,” Foreign Minister Steinmeier said. At Steinmeier’s initiative, the heads of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the World Bank, as well as the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, and the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, met in Berlin for the second time.

Germany is funding a new analysis tool

All those present agreed that the challenge can only be overcome by working even more closely together and making long‑term plans. “When the alarm bell rings, it is often already too late,” Steinmeier said. This is why Germany will fund a new global migration analysis tool, which will be set up in Berlin in cooperation with the IOM. The new analysis instruments will provide the wide-ranging data urgently needed to steer migration and help refugees.

Steinmeier underlined the need to work closely with refugee organisations

Steinmeier underlined the need to work closely with refugee organisations
© Thomas Trutschel/

Above all, the heads of international organisations call for more real solidarity in overcoming migration crises. “A multilateral response is absolutely necessary. All countries, not only Germany, must take responsibility,” said UN Special Representative Peter Sutherland. The fundamental values of the United Nations and European Union obliged all member states to help people in need, he added.

“A multilateral response is absolutely necessary”

“In Europe, we are not so much dealing with a crisis of migration, but a crisis of union,” said William Swing, IOM Director General. He urged people to remember Europe’s history.  “We have forgotten that UNHCR and IOM were founded in 1951 precisely to take European refugees to safe shores and new lives,” he said.

Source:  Federal Foreign Office

See also:

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Refugee crisis – what German foreign policy is doing

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