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World Leaders Approve New York Plan for Refugees | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian women hold milk while riding a motorcycle near an informal settlement for Syrian refugees in Bar Elia, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

New York, London- U.N. members adopted on Monday Declaration for Refugees and Migrants during a summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, which was held in New York.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that this declaration makes it binding for the countries to protect basic rights of refugees and migrants and to increase support granted for hosting countries, which are no more able to hold this burden.

However, Ban Ki-moon insisted that refugees should not be seen as a burden because they have huge potentials that are unleashed yet.

“The bitter truth is that this summit was called because we have been largely failing,” said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. He rejected that this summit be an occasion for celebration and criticized the extremists who refuse to handle their responsibilities through hosting more refugees on their territories. Hussein’s speech was received by applause.

U.N. estimates that up to 65 million escaped their households; 21 million out of them ran away from opposition, conflicts and poverty. During two years, 7, 000 men and women drowned in the Mediterranean Sea during their attempt to reach Europe.

The main topic discussed in the summit was the Syrian conflict, which has so far killed 300,000 and displaced nine million inside the country and four million abroad.

A truce lasted for one week in Syria before the Syrian army announced terminating it Monday evening. This step followed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressing hope that the truce continues to allow handing out assistance to civilians in the besieged areas.

From its part, Jordan’s permanent representative to the U.N., Dina Kawar said that all countries are responsible when it comes to the refugees and not only countries of certain regions. Kawar stressed the importance of reaching collective solutions and wider interaction in order to help refuges and the hosting communities.