Peter Sutherland, the UN envoy on migration, makes the moral, legal and historical case for providing a safe haven to refugees flooding into Europe to escape conflict in their home countries.
"Where there are terrible conflicts now, as in the past, the inevitable result is huge migratory flows.
Anybody who watches their televisions with the films of the appalling nature of the conflict that is taking place there can readily understand how people, particularly those with children must feel obliged to leave.
There may be no simple solution, there is no magic wand, but there are a lot of things that we could and should be doing to make things better – to make things better, above all, for the people who are suffering so much, who are the migrants themselves.
Some of the responses, in Europe, for example, to the recent crisis, has been an enormous outpouring of human sympathy -- taking people into your arms, bringing them into your homes.
We’re well able to handle this problem in Europe. We’ve 29 per cent of global wealth. We have a huge population. We actually have demographic problems that require us to bring more, not less, migrants to fill the voids in our economic systems.
And it’s not merely Europe, incidentally, that has a responsibility to refugees. Under the 1951 Convention and the Preamble, which all the countries in the world, effectively, that we’re talking about, are signatories to, refugees are the responsibility of the world.
The day of hiding behind borders and fences is long gone. We have to work together and cooperate together to make a better world."
(UN News Centre interview with Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration)