I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[*], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Ukraine and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
The EU and its Member States recall that responsibility sharing and solidarity for persons in need of international protection, both within the EU and with third countries, are an integral part of the Common European Asylum System.
We should consider making available or expand resettlement opportunities or complementary pathways, taking into account national competencies. At the same time, it is important to ensure complementarity with other types of assistance to first countries of asylum. Frameworks for coordinating such efforts among admitting states and with first countries of asylum should be established.
We recall that an increasing number of EU Member States are involved in resettlement, and share their experiences and best-practices, including in the context of the EU initiatives taken in this area, notably through the implementation of the European resettlement scheme of July 2015, the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, and the Commission recommendation on enhancing legal pathways for persons in need of international protection of 3 October 2017 to support UNHCR resettlement initiatives.
In parallel, in line with the EU approach to forced displacement and development, the EU and its Member States have significantly stepped up support to refugee hosting countries and communities including to Middle Income Countries with the aim of strengthening their resilience through an integrated approach. The EU has also made additional financial resources available through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the EU External Investment Plan in support of third countries.
The EU and its Member States would like to underline that all stakeholders, with a primary responsibility for States, should contribute to the refugee challenges in accordance with the principles of solidarity and responsibility sharing and taking into account their capacities. All durable solutions shall be used to their utmost potential.
Finally, States should both explore hosting more refugees, and provide assistance to those States that host refugees, in particular those countries where gaps between needs and national capacity are greatest.
Thank you, Mr./Ms Chairperson
[*] The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.