Delegation of the European Union to Japan

Joint Statement on World Refugee Day 2017

Brussels, 20/06/2017 - 02:48, UNIQUE ID: 170621_2
Joint Statements

EU News 133/2017

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, Frans Timmermans, First Vice President, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, and Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, made the following statement:

"As we mark 60 years of European unity, let us not forget that only a few generations ago many of us in Europe were refugees too. With that same human desire to escape conflict and violence, but also to rebuild our lives, and seek a safer future in freedom.

Today around the world more than 65 million people are forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change. These are 65 million lives, 65 million different stories. And we support them, within and beyond our borders.

As the leading global aid donor, the EU is providing humanitarian assistance and long-term support to refugees and internally displaced people all over the world. We work closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and international partners, and we are contributing to the development of the UN Global compact on Refugees.

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While improving the living conditions of refugees in Europe, we are working together with our Member States on establishing more legal and safe pathways in order to replace dangerous and irregular smuggling routes. More than 16,400 people in need of international protection have already been resettled to the European Union since July 2015 and the EU is on track to reach its commitment of 22,504 by September 2017. Beyond that, the European Commission has proposed an EU Resettlement Framework for the future, and is hoping that Member States will move forward on this in an ambitious way.

This is a challenge that neither a single Member State nor the European Union can face alone: global action by the international community is needed. Only by sharing this responsibility can we uphold the safety, dignity and human rights of refugees, and give not only a shelter but most of all, a chance for a future to those who need it most. It is a moral duty, and it is also the best investment we can make in our own security and stability."

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