Who is responsible for refugees?

The responsibility for accommodating refugees, people who through no fault of their own are suffering, is with the countries whose actions led to their displacement.

This was the message delivered by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday in New York.  

“Many of the challenges that confront us today are not of our making, but we bear the consequences of actions by other larger and developed countries,” PM O’Neill said to leaders and delegates from UN Member States. 

“We are facing a refugee crisis in the world today,” says the PM.

“People are being pushed out of their homes because of war, natural disasters and the loss of livelihood. 

“This is the plight of millions of people from developing countries, who face dismal futures if they survive at all. 

“We only have one planet, we all share that planet, and people should be free to travel and settle when their homes have been taken away from them. 

“We talk about greater freedom for the people of the world. We talk about freedom of speech, we talk about democracy, transparency, good governance and human rights. 

“But talk is easy. 

“All too often the concept of human rights is just the theme of convenience. 

“We need to make the process of migration less complicated and more humane.”

O’Neill says the chances for development in smaller countries have been harmed by the mess created by the now powerful nations.

He urged the developed nations to take responsibility and be more proactive in dealing with global issues that impact on developing countries.

(Picture: Amnesty International)


Press release