U.N. adopts plan to protect refugees, migrants

NEW YORK, Sept. 19 (UPI) — The United Nations on Monday adopted the so-called “New York Declaration” — a commitment to protect refugees and migrants, as well as to find solutions amid humanitarian crises.

The U.N. General Assembly on Monday held the first Summit for Refugees and Migrants, where the New York Declaration was introduced. The declaration “contains bold commitments both to address current issues and to prepare the world for future challenges,” the United Nations said in a statement.

The United Nations hopes to begin negotiations to hold an international conference related to refugees and migrants, as well as the adoption of a “global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018.”

“Today’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York City, adding that adopting the New York Declaration means “more children can attend school; more workers can securely seek jobs abroad, instead of being at the mercy of criminal smugglers, and more people will have real choices about whether to move once we end conflict, sustain peace and increase opportunities at home.”

The refugee and migrant crisis will be one of the main topics of discussion during the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. One of the main causes of the current refugee and migrant situation is the humanitarian crisis in Syria, brought by a half-decade of civil war.

The New York Declaration’s goals are as follows:

— Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status and gender.

— Ensure that all refugee and migrant children receive education within a few months of arrival.

— Prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

— Support countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.

— Work toward ending practice of detaining children for purpose of determining migration status.

— Find new homes for all refugees identified as needing resettlement; and expand the opportunities for refugees to relocate to other countries through, for example, labor mobility or education schemes.

— Strengthen the global governance of migration by bringing the International Organization for Migration into the United Nations.

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