Geneva (AP) – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has called on numerous countries to defend the principles of the Geneva Convention on Refugees.
He was alarmed as European and other countries increasingly sought to evade their obligations, Grandi said on the 70th anniversary of the treaty’s signing. Development Cooperation Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) called on the EU to do more to combat the causes of flights.
The Geneva Refugee Convention, one of the main pillars of international humanitarian cooperation, was adopted on July 28, 1951. It guarantees protection and acceptance for people who are persecuted in their own country. The treaty also obliges recipient countries not to return anyone where they are threatened with prosecution. The convention has recently been criticized time and again for its high number of migrants and refugees. It only applies to the persecuted, not to those who are frustrated and seek a better life elsewhere.
Grandi stressed that millions of lives had been saved thanks to Congress. In his criticism, he did not mention any country by name. However, he condemned the fact that the Greek Coast Guard pushed refugee boats back to Turkey and that Chile had expelled Venezuelans without individually checking their right to asylum. He also criticized plans, for example in Great Britain or Denmark, to bring asylum seekers to third countries to check their applications. Grandi’s authority, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), monitors compliance with the convention and cares for refugees worldwide.
“Hunger, misery, unrest”
“Experts estimate that today’s 20 million climate refugees could become 100 million people who have lost their livelihoods at home in just a few years. The consequences are hunger, misery, unrest,” Minister Müller told the editorial network Germany on the occasion of the anniversary. “And in this situation, the World Food Program lacks funds for urgently needed emergency aid in particularly affected regions. It’s a scandal and absolutely shortsighted!”
It is also short-sighted that the EU has cut development funds for the coming years. The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Refugee Convention should be a warning not to give up “in humanitarian engagement”. The EU still needs to do more to address the causes of displacement and displacement. “Otherwise, we in Europe will be confronted even more with the dramatic consequences of the global refugee crisis.”