20 Sep
  • By Sammy

Talking points from the first ever UN Refugee Summit

On a positive note, it’s great to see the leaders of the world putting the spotlight on the refugee crisis.  There was lots of noise for sure at yesterday’s summit in NY, 19th September 2016.  Plenty of goodwill in the speeches, however previously too many over promises, false dawns and not enough action.

Let’s watch which countries step up to the plate in the coming months.

Here’s a flavor of yesterday and some comments from the public & participants along with some other snippets on what’s going on with refugees around the world .

  • “65.3 million people are displaced by conflict and persecution”
  • “Today, one out of every 200 children worldwide is a refugee and every one of them needs our support”
  • France: 14-year-old boy is the youngest refugee to die trying to reach his family in the UK
  • “We will continue to name you publicly. You may soon walk away from this hall. But not from the broader judgement of “we the people”, all the world’s people- not from us” – ZidRa’ad Al Hussein, UN Humans Right chief
  • Palestine: An estimated 5 million Palestinians are registered as refugees
  • UK:The London Parliament Square “Lifejacket Graveyard” of 2,500 life jackets worn by refugees sent a strong message to the UN


  • The King of Spain on displacement “Our responsibility is to welcome them”
  • “But we cannot simply focus on treating the symptoms of this crisis, we need to address its root causes too.While we must continue our efforts to end conflict, stop persecution and the abuse of human rights, I believe we also need a new, more effective global approach to manage migration.” – Theresa May, UK, Prime Minister
  • “The UK should take four times more refugees” David Miliband
  • Children ask why they are treated like criminals when they flee conflict”
  • Of the 300,000 people to cross the Mediterranean in 2016, 3,211 are dead or missing
  • Donald Trump Jr. compares poisoned skittles to refugees “If I told you just three would kill you would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem”



  • “Having no women on the panel means the challenges that women refugees face won’t be addressed”
  • Greece:police have confirmed thousands of people have been forced to flee after a fire broke out at a refugee camp in Lesbos. The fire is now under control but last night volunteers were struggling to distribute water and help to families, in total darkness.There are a total of 5,400 migrants living in the camp which has the capacity to take house only 3,500
  • InterAction.Org members collectively pledged $1.2 billion over 3 years to address the refugee crisis.
  • China: is committed to providing 100 million USD in additional humanitarian aid and a $ billion fund over the next ten years to address the refugee crisis.
  • Meanwhile way too many families, parents and children are suffering needlessly today

And the last word goes to…..

“Words are meaningless unless backed up by action. Everyone has to do their bit” – Justin Forsyth

Well, I certainly agree with that comment. We need leaders to take short-term action and stand up for vulnerable refugees. Let’s hope they do. Children especially should not be suffering needlessly.