Photo: Plamen Stoimenov (EU2018BG)
Volker Türk, the Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), participated in a working lunch with EU home affairs ministers on 25 January 2018 in Sofia. The working lunch was dedicated to global aspects of migration, in the context of the upcoming negotiations on the UN global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Assistant High Commissioner Türk briefed ministers on the progress of the work towards a global mechanism of responsibility for refugee protection.
The Assistant High Commissioner welcomed that the Bulgarian Presidency put a spotlight on asylum and migration issues during the informal meeting. Speaking to media ahead of the lunch, he underlined the importance of the work on the two global compacts initiated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants: the global compact on refugees and the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. He also urged EU member states to adopt a comprehensive approach with regards to refugees and migration.
“The ultimate aim of the global compact on refugees is to come up with a system that ensures that the burden and responsibilities of hosting refugees are more equitable and more predictable. Countries that host refugees must be supported. It is important that Europe is a part of this process, and we should see the interlinkages between what is happening within the European Union and the global developments outside”, Assistant High Commissioner Türk stated. He welcomed the European support in this area. “There is already a commitment to 40,000 places for resettlement”, the Assistant High Commissioner noted, and called on European countries to continue offering resettlement places.
The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2016. It set in motion the process for the adoption of two global compacts in 2018: a global compact on refugees and a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.