UN adopts global declaration on migrants, refugees

With a record 21.3 million refugees globally, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly adopted a political declaration on Mondayin which they also agreed to spend the next two years negotiating global compacts on refugees and safe, orderly and regular migration.

"You have saved the lives of migrants at sea. You have treated migrants humanely. You have extended protection to refugees," United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson told the gathered assembly during the closing session of the high-level meeting in New York.

"All this is to be commended. However we know that no one state can deal with these transnational issues by acting alone. We must work together more than ever before," he added.

"We need to address root causes and ensure that no one is left behind. And we need to counter polarizing forces which aim to instill fear and to divide us into us and them," he said.

But the declaration, which is not legally binding, does not include a call by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for 10 percent of refugees to be resettled annually and has been dismissed by human rights and aid groups as insufficient.

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