UN welcomes EU migrant plan, says test is whether lives saved

April 24, 2015 12:06

GENEVA - The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday the European Union's plan to triple its naval search mission in the Mediterranean for migrants was an "important first step towards collective European action."

In a statement issued in Geneva, the UNHCR called on the EU to focus on saving lives and facilitating access to protection in Europe through other legal channels.

"Ultimately the test will be whether we see reduction in lives lost, effective access to protection in Europe without having to cross the Mediterranean, and an effective Common European Asylum System, which truly lives up to its commitments of solidarity and responsibility-sharing," the agency said, a day after EU leaders agreed the plan in Brussels.

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