Refugees left waiting by UN

Refugees and migrants will have to wait for the United Nations (U.N.) to ratify a draft international agreement to help settle their plight.

At present, more people are forcibly displaced from their homes than at any time since the Second World War ended.

But their circumstances are so politically contentious that after days of intense negotiations over an international agreement, the nations of the world on Tuesday adopted a draft that contained virtually no concrete commitments to make their journeys better or safer.

The 22-page draft “outcome document” that all 193 countries of the U.N. could abide by will serve as the basis for a meeting at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly next month.

Negotiators from every UN member country have failed to agree on a promise to share responsibility for 10% of the world’s refugee population. They have postponed the completion of a new global refugee deal for another two years.

Currently, 86% of refugees live in the developing world. Thousands of them, like Syrian orphans Ahmed and Alin, are surviving in appalling circumstances.

In a collective pre-summit statement, negotiators removed an earlier promise to move one in 10 refugees to the developed world, leaving only vague language that praised the principle of shared responsibility.

“We intend to expand the number and range of legal pathways available for refugees to be admitted to, or resettled in, third countries,” the statement said – stopping short of any concrete numbers.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and human rights workers say Australia is deliberately ignoring the inhumane treatment of refugees held on the South Pacific island of Nauru as a means of deterring others from attempting the journey to Australia.


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